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Spanish Harlems Musical Legacy 1930 - 1980' by Silvio Alava

Following the old photographers axiom "shoot what you know" Latin Beat co-founder Silvio Alava merged two of his passions photography and Latin music to document five decades of Spanish Harlem's vibrant musical history. Spanish Harlem's Musical Legacy 1930 - 1980 is a collection of two hundred photographs of singers and musicians such as Celia Cruz Beny More" Tito Puente Ruben Blades Hector Lavoe Eddie Palmieri and many more. The images are accompanied by insightful anecdotes from the photographer. Like his photography Alava's writing is "...from the viewpoint of an aficionado who followed some of the pioneers around in clubs and concerts with my camera because I loved and understood the language of the music".

The book has four sections : "The Immortals" features legends Celia Cruz Noro Morales Beny More" and Arsenio Rodriguez. "The Big Three" spotlights the premiere band leaders or the era Tito Puente Frank "Machito" Grillo and Tito Rodriguez. "The Successors" is devoted to the next generation of great Latin Jazz and Salsa singers and musicians such as Ruben Blades Hector Lavoe Ray Barretto and Eddie Palmieri. "The Sidemen" showcases some of the unsung heroes of Latin music.

Alava captures the joy and passion of musicians performing in concerts festivals recording studios and jam sessions. These images are interspersed with snapshots of Alava with musician friends and their families adding a warm personal touch.

Spanish Harlem's Musical Legacy 1930 - 1980 was clearly a labor of love for Silvio Alava. He completed it shortly before his untimely death in May 2007 leaving behind a compelling visual documentation of the golden age of Latin music in Spanish Harlem.

Additional Info

  • Book Title: Spanish Harlems Musical Legacy 1930 - 1980'
  • Author: Silvio Alava
  • Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
  • Year Published: 2007
  • Book Type:: Non-Fiction
  • ISBN: 073855006X
  • Rating: Four Stars
  • Number of Pages: 128
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