New exhibit 'El Sabor' celebrates influence of Latin music

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It's music we've heard and enjoyed for decades, from Gloria Estefan to Ritchie Valens to Selena.

Now you can see and hear your favorites at a new exhibit which explores the influence of Latin artists and music in American pop music.

The exhibit, called "American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music" is featured at the Arizona Latin Arts & Cultural Center in downtown Phoenix near 2nd Street & Adams.

The exhibit will be featured in downtown Phoenix through July 5, for the final leg of the exhibit's 12-city nationwide tour.

"American Sabor is fun, engaging and educational, all at the same time. It will inspire our communities. Most importantly, we're convinced this interactive exhibition is going to open so many people's eyes to the profound influence Latinos have had for decades on American pop music," said ErLinda Tórres, President and CEO of the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center.

"American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music" presents the musical contributions of U.S. Latinos from the 1940s to the present, exploring the social history and individual creativity that produced stars like Tito Puente, Ritchie Valens, Celia Cruz, Carlos Santana and Selena.

"The impact of Latino musicians on American popular music moves beyond the unmistakable rhythms and dance," said Myriam Springuel, interim director. "American Sabor tells the broader story of Latino communities and how their artistry expresses their experiences as Americans."

"Sabor" is the Spanish word for taste or flavor, commonly used to describe good music. The exhibit documents the roles of U.S. Latino musicians, after World War II, as interpreters and disseminators of Latin American genres while highlighting their innovations in various traditional U.S. genres.

"American Sabor" 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.

"American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music" is a 3,000-square-foot educational experience designed to travel to community-based institutions, such as libraries, cultural centers and museums. 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.

The "American Sabor" 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" play list and a mixing-board interactive activity.

Details about the Phoenix exhibition of "American Sabor" at ALAC can be found at

ALAC: Arizona Latino Arts & Cultural Center in Downtown Phoenix

Founded in 2009, the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center (ALAC) is a coalition of Latino artists and art organizations that celebrates and promotes the Latino presence in Arizona through education and advocacy. ALAC is led by Co-founder and President/CEO ErLinda Tórres and located in the heart of downtown Phoenix. A first-of-its-kind in Arizona, it serves as a beacon of cultural and artistic expression through art exhibits, film, theater, presentations, lectures, live performances and literary readings.

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