Arsenio Rodríguez and the Transnational Flows of Latin Popular Music

David F. García
Certificate of Merit for Best Research in Recorded Folk, Ethnic, or World Music from the Association for Recorded Sound, 2007
Book Cover

PB: $31.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-386-4
Publication: Jun 06

HC: $86.50
EAN: 978-1-59213-385-7
Publication: Jun 06

Ebook: $31.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-387-1

224 pages
6 x 9
5 tables, 18 figs., 12 halftones

The life and times of one of Cuba's most important musicians

Read Chapter 1 (pdf).


Arsenio Rodríguez was one of the most important Cuban musicians of the twentieth century. In this first scholarly study, ethnomusicologist David F. García examines Rodríguez's life, including the conjunto musical combo he led and the highly influential son montuno style of music he created in the 1940s. García recounts Rodríguez's battle for recognition at the height of "mambo mania" in New York City and the significance of his music in the development of salsa. With firsthand accounts from relatives and fellow musicians, Arsenio Rodríguez and the Transnational Flows of Latin Popular Music follows Rodríguez's fortunes on several continents, speculating on why he never enjoyed wide commercial success despite the importance of his music. García focuses on the roles that race, identity, and politics played in shaping Rodríguez's music and the trajectory of his musical career. His transnational perspective has important implications for Latin/o American and popular music studies.

Table of Contents

Preface Introduction 1. "I Was Born of Africa": Black Consciousness and Cubanidad 2. Negro y Macho: Arsenio Rodríguez's Conjunto and Son Montuno Style 3. Who's Who in Mambo? 4. Remembering the Past with El Ciego Maravilloso 5. Salsa and Arsenio Rodríguez's Legacy Conclusion: Remembering Arsenio Rodríguez / Remembering Son Montuno Discography Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author(s)

David Garcia is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


In the Series

  • Studies in Latin American and Caribbean Music edited by Peter Manuel

    Studies in Latin American and Caribbean Music, edited by Peter Manuel, aims to present interdisciplinary studies in the traditional and contemporary musics of Latin America and the Caribbean.