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American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music a free multimedia exhibition to open at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts on April 20


Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit that Explores the Influence of Latinos in American Popular Music Comes to the East Coast for the First Time

From Ritchie Valens to Carlos Santana to Selena, the musical contributions of U.S. Latinos from the 1940s to present day will be explored in the free exhibition American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music opening at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts on April 20.  Created by EMP Museum, the University of Washington, and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music, its national tour and its related programs are made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund.  Accompanying the exhibition will be a display of materials on Latino music and dance from the earliest days of recorded sound to the 1940s from The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts collections. A series of programs and screenings are scheduled at The Library throughout May and June. American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music  will be on display in the Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery from April 20, 2013 thru  July 13, 2013 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. Admission is free. 

“Latin music and dance have been an important part of the sound and rhythm of America throughout the nation’s history,” said Jacqueline Z. Davis, Barbara G. and Lawrence A. Fleishman Executive Director of NYPL for the Performing Arts. “The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is thrilled to be partnering with so many outstanding organizations to celebrate this rich cultural heritage by bringing this magnificent exhibition to New York for the first time.”

In conjunction with the opening of the exhibition, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will host a series of related free programs including 8 afternoon screenings of documentaries and feature films in Spanish and English, bi-lingual poetry slams, and concerts by student ensembles in a variety of Latino genres. There will also be a performance and presentation on Salsa by Grammy-nominated bandleader Bobby Sanabria on April 17 at 6pm as part of the film and music series Rhapsodic City: Music of New York. More information can be found at

American Sabor (sabor is the Spanish word for taste or flavor, commonly used to describe good music) documents the roles of post-World War II U.S. Latino musicians as interpreters and disseminators of Latin American genres while highlighting their innovations in various traditional U.S. genres. 
The exhibition focuses on five major centers of Latino popular music production – New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, San Antonio and San Francisco – that represent the remarkable diversity of this music. Each city section explores the broader histories and cultures that created the music from those areas, including how the musical innovations of Latino youths crossed ethnic and racial boundaries and helped shape American popular music, how immigration and migration influenced Latino and U.S. popular music and the ways in which Latinos have musically expressed their experiences as Americans. 

“From mambo and salsa to hip hop and reggaetón, New York has long been a center of Latin music,” said Anna R. Cohn, director of SITES. “The impact of Latino musicians on American popular music moves beyond the unmistakable rhythms and dance. American Sabor tells the broader story of Latino communities and how their artistry expresses their experiences as Americans.”  

Based on the 5,000-square-foot exhibition of the same name, American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music, is a 3,500-square-foot learning experience designed for smaller museums and cultural centers. With engaging bilingual (English and Spanish) text panels, striking graphics and photographs, a dance floor and compelling listening stations and films, the exhibition celebrates the true flavor, or “sabor” of Latin music in the United States. 

“Ford Motor Company Fund is proud to support ‘American Sabor’ as part of our long-standing commitment to Hispanic arts and culture,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “Visitors to the exhibition will experience the many contributions that Hispanic musicians have made to American music and the richness of Latino sounds.”

The exhibition is complemented by an interactive website——that includes expanded exhibition content, historic photographs, lesson plans, video oral histories from Latin music stars, a jukebox featuring a special “American Sabor” playlist and a mixing-board interactive activity. 

About The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts houses one of the worlds most extensive combination of circulating, reference, and rare archival collections in its field. These materials are available free of charge, along with a wide range of special programs, including exhibitions, seminars, and performances. An essential resource for everyone with an interest in the arts — whether professional or amateur — the Library is known particularly for its prodigious collections of non-book materials such as historic recordings, videotapes, autograph manuscripts, correspondence, sheet music, stage designs, press clippings, programs, posters and photographs. For more information please visit
Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES)
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for 60 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. Exhibition descriptions and tour schedules are available at
EMP Museum
EMP Museum is dedicated to the exploration of creativity and innovation in popular music. By blending interpretive, interactive exhibitions with cutting-edge technology, EMP captures and reflects the essence of rock ‘n’ roll, its roots in jazz, soul, gospel, country and the blues, as well as rock’s influence on hip-hop, punk and other recent genres. Visitors can view rare artifacts and memorabilia and experience the creative process by listening to musicians tell their stories. 
University of Washington
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest state-supported institutions of higher education on the West Coast and is one of the preeminent research universities in the world. 
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. For more than 60 years, Ford Motor Company Fund has operated with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. The award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life program teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through national programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and dealers work on projects each year that better their communities in more than 40 countries. For more information, visit
Contact:      Jonathan Pace | 212.592.7710 | 
                  Jennifer Schommer | 202.633.3121 |