Arsenio Rodr\u00edguez was one of the most important Cuban musicians of the twentieth century. In this first scholarly study, ethnomusicologist David F. Garc\u00eda examines Rodr\u00edguez's life, including the conjunto musical combo he led and the highly influential son montuno style of music he created in the 1940s. Garc\u00eda recounts Rodr\u00edguez's battle for recognition at the height of \u0022mambo mania\u0022 in New York City and the significance of his music in the development of salsa. With firsthand accounts from relatives and fellow musicians, Arsenio Rodr\u00edguez and the Transnational Flows of Latin Popular Music follows Rodr\u00edguez's fortunes on several continents, speculating on why he never enjoyed wide commercial success despite the importance of his music. Garc\u00eda focuses on the roles that race, identity, and politics played in shaping Rodr\u00edguez's music and the trajectory of his musical career. His transnational perspective has important implications for Latin American and popular music studies.
David F. Garcia is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Final Table of Contents List of Illustrations Preface Introduction "Feeling Son Montuno": Issues and Theoretical Approach Outline 1 "I Was Born of Africa": Black Consciousness and Cubanidad Formative Years Reclaiming "Africa" "Adore Her as Marti Did" 2 Negro y Macho: Arsenio Rodriguez's Conjunto and Son Montuno Style The Early Septetos and Conjunto, 1926-1944 Contratiempo and the Emergence of the Son Montuno Feel Placing the Emergence of Son Montuno 3 Who Is Who in Mambo? Migrating to New York City "I Sell Rhythm!" The Political Economy of Son Montuno and Mambo The Pueblo Pueblo of El Barrio and the Bronx 4 Remembering the Past with El Ciego Maravilloso Arsenio Rodriguez in Chicago, Curacao, and Los Angeles Nostalgia, Exile Politics, and the "Pre-salsa" Milieu in New York City Final Performances and Death 5 Salsa and Arsenio Rodriguez's Legacy "We Were Disciples of Arsenio" Son Montuno and Salsa Aesthetics Conclusion: Remembering Arsenio Rodriguez/Remembering Son Montuno Notes Discography Bibliography