Join Dr. Catalina Maria Johnson as she gives us a broad overview of milestones the last 75 years of music in the Latino U.S. as a way of understanding the history, roots, and concerns of Latinos in this land, with a special emphasis on Mexican and Puerto Rican musicians in Illinois as Latino populations that have profoundly marked the state’s culture and music.
Music can be viewed and “read” as a tool that shares the cultural values, roots, and history of peoples. Over the years, numerous Latino musical genres share the concerns of Latinos throughout the years. For example, there are songs about immigrant woes of the early 20th century to today. Recently, Latinos around the U.S. commented on the 43 student-teachers murdered in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero by creating various songs in different genres.
Catalina Maria Johnson, Ph.D. is a Chicago-based journalist. She hosts and produces her own radio show, Beat Latino, which airs in Chicago on Vocalo (Chicago Public Media). Catalina is also a regular contributor to NPR, Bandcamp, Downbeat and other outlets and a member of the editorial board of Revista Contratiempo.
Catalina credits the tenacious insistence of a Mexican mom and a German/Swedish dad for the extraordinary gift of a bilingual and bicultural heritage. Thanks to them, she grew up between two cities named St. Louis, one in Missouri, and the other, San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Her music journalism explores the extraordinary diversity of the global music scene with an emphasis on Latin and Latino music – from the most traditional roots music to cutting-edge electronic grooves. It is also very important to her to focus on the cultural riches that immigrants bring to the country of destiny, an invaluable and often unrecognized gift.