One of the musical genre’s innovators, the self-proclaimed “Afro-Filipino King of Latin Soul” Joe Bataan will play Friday at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
Called the “first Nuyorican music” by producer Rene Lopez, boogaloo was born in 1960s. Often sung in both English and Spanish, boogaloo blends Latin rhythms like mambo and son with R&B, soul and doo-wop into a distinctly New York mishmash with a driving backbeat. As Juan Flores explains in From Bomba to Hip-Hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity, the musical fusion emerged in Manhattan dancehalls where Latino and black neighbors got together. At the same locale, mambo might dominate one night, and R&B another.
As Jimmy Sabeter of the Joe Cuba Sextet tells it in Flores' book, boogaloo’s birth occurred when the band first played its hit “Bang! Bang!” during a 1966 gig
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