Rhythm, Bass and Place: Through the Lens is a photography exhibition that shows music and dance as the heartbeat of Latin New York from the 1970s to the 2000s.
Rhythm, Bass and Place CCCADI
The Rhythm, Bass and Place CCCADI photography exhibition showing music and dance as the heartbeat of Latin New York from the 1970s to the 2000s, opens with a reception at CCCADI, the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, in “El Barrio” East Harlem; on Friday, March 17, 2023, from 6-7:30pm. Free with rsvp. cccadi.org 🇺🇸 🇵🇷
The exhibition features two exceptional photographers.
Joe Conzo, Jr is known as a hip-hop photographer, but he also produced one of the great photography collections of Bronx life back in the day, when New York salsa emerged. His father Joe Conzo, Sr, was one of Tito Puente’s close friends. Jr ran with everyone at a very potent time that is still reverberating today.
Conzo’s connection with both salsa and hip-hop actually makes a lot of sense. When we look at hip-hop as Puerto Ricans, we see our bomba drum, song and dance traditions (like Cuban rumba). The rapper’s cross-armed stance, the way a b-boy or b-girl salutes the batey (sacred dance circle), and many steps are similar in bomba and hip-hop. One might even argue that a hip-hop party is the Bronx equivalent of an Indigenous Taíno areíto (community gathering). We don’t know who influenced who, but the similarities are profound.
Malik Yusef Cumbo grew up studying his mother’s photographs of Jamaican reggae legends Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. Photographers have to make photos and Cumbo was born for this. He got obsessed with photography as a kid and just never stopped. Cumbo loves the line, shape and form of black and white. He started taking pictures of his friends back in the day. Many of them turned out to be famous artists and musicians. His latest studio is ThoughtFormZ in Brooklyn.
The exhibition is curated by artist, writer and DJ Lynnée Denise. She studies underground cultural movements in the African Diaspora. Denise played a role in elevating DJs from party animals to cultural purveyors. She’s done a residency at Stanford University, was a visiting professor at Williams College, and currently working on her PhD in the Department of Visual Culture at Goldsmiths University of London.
These are two amazing artists and curator who were there. All are heavy hitters.
It’s the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, and about time for a serious reevaluation of the movement started by kids in The Bronx ~ that changed the world.