Logan Square Exhibit Highlights Latin Music in the U.S.

American Sabor Exhibit
The American Sabor exhibit is a celebration of Latin music. Photo: Theresa Boehl

A traveling exhibit is bringing a celebration of Latin music to Logan Square. “American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music” is sponsored by the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance (PRAA, @PRAAchicago, 3000 N. Elbridge Ave.) and will be on view at the U.S. Bank Exhibit Hall (2958 N. Milwaukee Ave.) until October 7.

The 2,500-foot exhibit explores the influence of Latin music on American popular music and culture after World War II, with displays divided into five major musical hubs—Miami, New York, Los Angeles, San Antonio and San Francisco. Top performers from diverse genres, such as salsa, mambo, reggaeton, rock and punk, are highlighted.

The exhibit consists of colorful text panels, listening stations, photographs, short films and a dance floor complete with a jukebox. Text panels are in both English and Spanish.

American Sabor
Featured artists brought rhythms and sounds from Latin countries, but also had experiences and collaborations that were uniquely American. Photo: Theresa Boehl

The organizers of “American Sabor” point out that while the featured artists brought rhythms and sounds from Latin countries, their experiences and collaborations in major U.S. cities resulted in uniquely American musical styles.

“A lot of people say ‘That’s Puerto Rican music, that’s Latin music,’” says Jorge Felix, Studio Arts Program and Exhibit Director at the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance (PRAA). “But it’s American music.”

American Sabor Exhibit
The exhibit consists of colorful text panels, listening stations, photographs, short films and a dance floor complete with a jukebox. Photo: Theresa Boehl

The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES) organized the exhibit, which will travel to 12 cities through 2015. PRAA hosted events through August and September in conjunction with the exhibit, and will host a dance contest in October at Mirta Ramirez High School.

“American Sabor” is open Tuesday to Friday from 11am-5 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30am-1:00pm until October 7. Entry to the exhibit is free.

Have you had the chance to visit the exhibit? What did you think?

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