Latin Rock Music has come a long way from Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” in 1958. Latin Rock developed first in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. In the early days, playing Rock could get you beaten up, jailed, or worse. Now rockeamos el mundo (we rock the world).
NYC Latin Rock News
Mexican Punk Rock
Espécimen plays Mexican Punk Rock for dancing at La Boom in Woodside, Queens on Sun, Feb 6 at 10pm. $50. 🇲🇽
Argentine Reggae Rock
Los Pericos play Argentine Reggae Rock at Sony Hall in the Times Square Theater District on Mon, Mar 7 at 8pm (7pm doors). From $39. 🇦🇷
Transmetal and Leprosy play Mexican Heavy Metal Rock at La Boom in Woodside, Queens on Sun, Mar 13 at 10pm. $58. 🇲🇽
Vieux Farka Touré plays Malian Rock at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village on Fri, May 20 at 7:30pm (6:30pm doors). From $25. 🇲🇱
- Barclays Center in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
- Brooklyn Bowl, Williamsburg brooklynbowl.com
- Le Poisson Rouge, Greenwich Village
- Madison Square Garden in Chelsea
- Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn
- National Sawdust, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
- SOB’s Sound of Brazil in Hudson Square, Manhattan
- Terminal 5 in Hell’s Kitchen. terminal5nyc.com
Tuesday, February 15, 2022 🇲🇽
Saturday, January 8, 2022
Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Sunday, October 17, 2021
Sunday, August 7, 2022
Tuesday-Wednesday, August 17-18, 2021
Monday, February 17, 2020
Park Slope, Brooklyn
The band led by Venezuelan José Luis Pardo (Los Amigos Invisibles, Los Crema Paraiso) plays their debut album “Psychedelic Disco Cumbia”
Friday, November 8, 2019
PURCHASE, NYC (near White Plains) ~ The Texan brings her Latin folk pop and awesome Austin rock and roll to Purchase College
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Latin Grammys 2018 Univision
Song of the Year nominee: “Tu Vida Mi Vida”
September 28, 2018
CUNY Graduate Center
Elebash Recital Hall
Murray Hill, Manhattan
Friday, May 4, 2018
Washington Heights, Manhattan
Saturday, October 21, 2017
204 Varick St
Hudson Square / SoHo
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Latin Rock Festivals in NYC
LAMC, the Latin Alternative Music Conference is New York City’s big Latin rock festival. Summer festivals like SummerStage, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn and Lincoln Center Out of Doors always include some great Latin rockers.
The Latin Alternative
Now we Rock en Español. If you are a certain age, you’ll remember how great it felt to hear people rocking in your own language for the first time. You didn’t have to just lip sync anymore. Now you could sing along because you understood the words, and the words spoke to your own experience.
Rock and Roll is rebellious. Latins don’t rebel against their parents, but Latin rockers rebel against tyrannic governments.
The story of Latin rock is the story of Latin America finding its own voice. After years of covering or translating European and American bands, Latin America began expressing itself through the Rock Nacional of Argentina and Tropicália of Brazil. For Mexico and the States, it was Mexican American Carlos Santana who rocked the world.
These are some of the highlights of Latin rock.
- Latin Rock begins with Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” (1958)
- Argentine Rock Nacional started with “La Balsa” (1967) by Beatles lookalikes Los Gatos, and music by Almendra and Manal.
- Tropicália with Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil (1968) and Os Mutantes (1968)
- Carlos Santana’s “Evil Ways” (1969)
- Gustavo Santaolalla’s Arco Iris (1969).
- Buenos Aires Rock Festival (1970)
- Latin Alternative of Natalia Lafourcade and many others.
Gustavo Santaolalla was one of the visionaries of Rock Nacional. He later moved to the U.S. where he became the godfather of Rock en Español. His Bajofondo (2002-now) was part of the electronic neotango movement. Santaolalla began producing and scoring soundtracks. He produced “Amores Perros” and “The Motorcycle Diaries.” He later won two Academy Awards for scoring “Brokeback Mountain” in 2005 and “Babel” in 2006.
In the same way that rock became soft rock, Latin rock has become Latin Alternative. Nacional Records in Los Angeles leads this movement. They produce the LAMC, Latin Alternative Music Conference in New York City in the summer.
Rock and Roll is African American. It’s Rebellion is American, but it’s Playfulness is Caribbean
Rock and roll derives from blues, jazz and swing and also gospel, folk and country. Artists like Elvis Presley (That’s All Right, 1954) and Bill Haley cashed in on it (Rock Around the Clock, 1955), but rock ‘n’ roll was created by African American artists playing in juke joints, the roadside dance halls of the American South.
The music was refined by artists like Goree Carter (Rock Awhile, 1949), Ike Turner (Rocket 88, 1951), Chuck Berry (Maybellene, 1955),Little Richard (Long Tall Sally, 1956), and even others who went before them.
Rock and roll’s naughty lyrics, playfulness and willingness to bend the rules are Caribbean culture. When everything is taken away, you still have your body, so you learn to enjoy it a lot. When life is hard, you have to bend the rules to survive. You make fun of everything to keep your head on straight.
Rebelling against the older generation is very American. Latins cherish their families so there is less of that. Rock and roll is American, but its playfulness comes from the Caribbean.
Rata Blanca plays Argentine Rock at La Boom in Woodside, Queens on Fri, Nov 5, 2021 at 10pm (7pm doors). From $45. 🇦🇷