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Products for grant FB-57350-14

The Transnational History of Argentine Popular Music in the 20th Century
Matthew Karush, George Mason University

Grant details:

Black in Buenos Aires: The Transnational Career of Oscar Alemán (Book Section)
Title: Black in Buenos Aires: The Transnational Career of Oscar Alemán
Author: Matthew B. Karush
Editor: Paulina Alberto
Editor: Eduardo Elena
Abstract: This article focuses on Afro-Argentine swing guitarist Oscar Alemán, who leveraged his phenotypical blackness and his musical talent in order to build a career that took him from Brazil to Buenos Aires to Paris and back to the Argentine capital. Over the course of his career, Alemán performed multiple black identities, responding creatively to his audiences’ varied racial expectations. In the Parisian nightclubs of the 1930s, being black gave him a certain cachet. Similarly, once he returned to Buenos Aires in 1940, his racial identity strengthened his claim to being Argentina’s most authentic jazz musician. Yet as a black jazz musician, he challenged ideas about Argentine national identity in ways that ultimately limited his career horizons. Alemán’s commercial success in Argentina during the 1940s and 1950s problematizes simplistic accounts of Argentine racism. Nevertheless, his association with a version of blackness that alluded to Brazilian tropicalism and Parisian nightlife eventually limited his appeal.
Year: 2016
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Book Title: Rethinking Race in Modern Argentina
ISBN: 9781107107632

Reinventing the Latin in Latin Jazz: The Music and Career of Gato Barbieri (Article)
Title: Reinventing the Latin in Latin Jazz: The Music and Career of Gato Barbieri
Author: Matthew B. Karush
Abstract: This article examines the career of Gato Barbieri, a jazz saxophonist from Argentina who relocated to the United States in the 1960s. In this new setting, audiences and critics saw Barbieri as “Latin,” an ethnic category and a musical descriptor that meant nothing to him before he left home. By negotiating the distance between his own sense of self and the perceptions of North American jazz musicians and critics, Barbieri developed a distinctive musical persona. Engaging with the highly politicized free jazz movement and with novel forms of protest jazz, Barbieri articulated Latin-ness as an irreducible difference and an implicit critique of white, North American power and privilege. Since he had no interest or expertise in Latin American music until after he left Argentina, it makes little sense to see him as the bearer of a Latin musical tradition. On the contrary, his musical innovations were the result of the agency he was able to exercise within global structures in which Latin America was associated with exotic, earthy rhythms and with values such as passion and sensuality. At the same time, these associations also limited the ideological challenge posed by his music: Barbieri eventually embraced conventional musical signifiers and thereby reinforced North American stereotypes about Latin identity.
Year: 2016
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies

Musicians in Transit: Argentina and the Globalization of Popular Music (Book)
Title: Musicians in Transit: Argentina and the Globalization of Popular Music
Author: Matt
Abstract: Musicians in Transit is a transnational history of Argentine popular music in the years between 1930 and 2001. The book examines the careers of seven influential musicians in five distinct genres – jazz, tango, balada, folk, and rock – revealing how their engagement with the global music business helped reshape Argentine and Latin American identities. Over the course of their literal and figurative travels in Europe, Latin America, and the United States, these artists encountered a wide range of musical styles on terrain marked by the unequal distribution of economic and political power. They were forced to navigate a set of genre distinctions, marketing conventions, and even ethnic or cultural identities, all of which imposed limitations but also created commercial and musical opportunities. Argentine musicians proved adept at exploiting these opportunities, and their ideological, aesthetic and commercial maneuvers had profound, often unintended consequences. These musicians emerged as key intermediaries between Argentina and global culture. When their music was consumed by North American and European audiences, it stretched hegemonic ideas of Latin music in new directions. Within Argentina, it provided new ways of understanding the nation’s place in the world. Eventually, Argentine musicians produced new expressions of Latin identity, including a novel form of Latin pop music, an anti-imperialist folk genre that hailed a politicized Latin American audience, and a style of rock built on a pastiche of Latin American and global genres.
Year: 2017
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822362364