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Hispanic or Latino music?

18 Jul 00 - 03:46 PM (#260265)
Subject: Hispanic or Latino music?
From: Jim Dixon

I have discovered that I like certain kinds of Latino or Hispanic music, but I don't know much about it, and I certainly am not familiar with its terminology. I don't even know whether "Latino" and "Hispanic" are interchangeable.

Here are some other terms I have encountered for certain genres or sub-genres of music, but wouldn't know how to define them: salsa, norteno (should that be capitalized?), mariachi, Tex-Mex, Tejano and there probably are some others that I can't remember. Anyone care to enlighten me with definitions?

My favorite musician so far is Flaco Jimenez. I love the extravagant accordion riffs that occur between verses and sometimes between lines of a verse. What do you call his style? Who else plays in that style? Would you call it folk, traditional, pop, or something else entirely? Any other particular musicians you'd like to recommend?

18 Jul 00 - 04:24 PM (#260303)
Subject: RE: Hispanic or Latino music?
From: McGrath of Harlow

I'd have though that Latino would include the music of Brazil, which you can hardly call Hispanic.

18 Jul 00 - 04:35 PM (#260311)
Subject: RE: Hispanic or Latino music?
From: MMario

well - a lot of people probably DO call it Hispanic, tho' og course they'd be wrong.

18 Jul 00 - 04:38 PM (#260316)
Subject: RE: Hispanic or Latino music?

Try Tish Hinojosa's music. She has a terrific voice, and does a variety of Mexican/American music, include several songs in both Spanish and English. Her website is:

There are links on that page to give you glimpses of other similar music.

I agree about Flaco Jimenez. I like him too.


18 Jul 00 - 11:43 PM (#260551)
Subject: RE: Hispanic or Latino music?
From: Escamillo

I'm more familiar with Southern music (Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela and others) than with Northern which is nearer to you, but if I can be of any help, let me know. There are tons of folk and tango and classical music made in these latitudes that can be of interest to you. I don´t mention it frequently because I would not like to be bothering to people, but I can assure you that there are tons.
I agree "Hispano" does not include Brazil, but "Latin" or "Iberoamerican" include it.
Un abrazo - Andrés (from Buenos Aires)

18 Jul 00 - 11:45 PM (#260552)
Subject: RE: Hispanic or Latino music?
From: mariachera

Mariachi music is the style of music indigenous to the state of Jalisco. In its current form it consists of not less that 5 musicians: two violins, a trumpet, a guitarron(bass guitar) a vihuela(small five string fat back guitar. The optimum size is twelve, 6 violins, two trumpets, guitarron, vihuela, guitar and "arpa' (a folk harp from Jalisco. There are many other characteristic genres of Mexican music based on regions.

19 Jul 00 - 11:54 AM (#260774)
Subject: RE: Hispanic or Latino music?
From: M. Ted (inactive)

Sorry I didn't answer this before--Tex-Mex and Norteno, and Tejano refer to the same music, El Flacco Jimenex-style polka music from the Texas-Mexican border region--it is considered to be a traditional music form, since it has been passed down through a number of generations, and it continues to flourish today. The polka music was brought to the area by Czech and German immigrants from the end of the last century on, and it became intertwined with the regional Conjunto ballad traditions.

The Smithsonian Folklife festival featured several bands this year, and there is probably information on them at their website.Click here

Arhoolie Records has been a great source for recordings of both contemporary artists and for historical collections which you may find at: Click here They also have available Les Blank's "Chulas Fronteras" which is a great docmumentary about the music.

Salsa is the name given to contemporary Cuban-American dance music that is based on tradtional Afro-Cuban dance rhythms and also the ballad tradtion. Check out the Buena Vista Social Club film, and all the CD's that spin off from it if you want to hear some great music in this tradition.

The term "Hispanic" tends to be used more in the Western US, and is generally and loosely more tied to Mexican an Mexican American cultural things, "Latino" tends to be the preferred term in the Eastern US, and is generally and loosely associated with Cuban, Puerto Rican, South American culture and people.

There are so many different cultures and traditions that get lumped together in those two names--too bad that people in El Norte don't get to know them better--

19 Jul 00 - 12:10 PM (#260794)
Subject: RE: Hispanic or Latino music?
From: M. Ted (inactive)

Sorry, I blew the link to the Smithsonian Folklife Center, try Click here

19 Jul 00 - 02:29 PM (#260912)
Subject: RE: Hispanic or Latino music?
From: Jim Dixon

M. Ted - thanks for the info, but can I trust anyone who writes "El Flacco Jimenex"? *Grin*

There is a Chicano/Latino/whatever-oriented CD store near me (in Minnesota, no less!) where the clerks don't seem to speak English very well, and I don't speak Spanish at all. They have hundreds (maybe thousands) of CD's for sale, but I couldn't understand the labels, and I didn't even know which category to look under. When I asked one clerk about "Flaco Jimenez" he either didn't understand me or didn't know the answer, so he asked another guy (in Spanish) who went in the back and then came out and told me they didn't have him. So I asked if they had anything LIKE Flaco Jimenez and he waved me in the direction of a certain rack of CD's. At this point I didn't know if he was BS-ing me and maybe he didn't have a clue what I wanted or who Flaco Jimenez was. But I wound up buying an album practically at random because (a) it was cheap and (b) it had a picture on the front of some guy I never heard of holding a button accordion. When I got it home, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't Flaco Jimenez, either.

I'm just hoping to learn enough so that when I go back, I will know what to look for. Thanks. This helps.

19 Jul 00 - 03:26 PM (#260946)
Subject: RE: Hispanic or Latino music?
From: M. Ted (inactive)

My reading glasses broke a few days ago, and I haven't had a chance to get new ones made, so I am reading and writing using my driving glasses. This means that the screen is blurry unless I am about four feet away, in which case I am too far away to read it--

I really sympathize with your situation--I have always been fascinated by obscure ethnic regional music, and have ended up with many records and CD's that I didn't want because the music was obscure, even to people from the country of origin--Arhoolie and Down Home will help you out, though--and, if you can, be sure to see "Chulas Fronteras" you may even be able to rent it, if you have a cool video store, or borrow it from the library--