Diffusing the Beat





:: Preserving the Roots of Latin Music


   Featured Music Educators: Ramon Rodriguez

   and Louis Bauzo


Harbor Conservatory Director, Ramon Rodriguez and Raices co-founder Louis Bauzo established Raices in 1979 with additional support from Joe Conzo. Their objective was to trace the path of music from its origins in West Africa through its transformations in the various islands of the Caribbean and New World to salsa. To this end, Mr. Bauzo and Mr. Rodriguez traveled to West Africa, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Brazil where they interviewed indigenous folk artists and mapped the changing styles of Afro-Caribbean music. A conscientious effort was also made to send out interviewers to do oral histories of the music's living legends, collecting photographs and taping concerts


Our culture’s history can be told in many ways.  Through the arts we are able to express, represent and exhibit our past and paint a picture for future generations.  Artists have done this through poetry, theater, music, visual art, film, and other forms of creative expression.  Raices has taken the richness of Salsa and made it a mission to discover its origins, its Roots. –Ramon Rodriquez


 (Excerpts from interview in Hispanic Arts News article, Raices, by Robert Waddell)



:: Raices Latin Music Collection

   About the Collection


Raices helps to preserve and present an essential part of the city's musical heritage, educating diverse audiences about this rich musical tradition.


As a people, we must learn to treasure our heroes, our music, what makes us Latinos. –Ramon Rodriquez



The collection includes original manuscripts by major artists, rare photos, video, audio recordings, periodicals, oral histories, artifacts, instruments and a photo exhibition on the folkloric roots and history of salsa in New York City.




:: Music Education and the Harbor Conservatory for the      Performing Arts

   Preserving Cultural Traditions


We teach music, dance and theater with a Latin flair. The conservatory formally teaches Latin music.  It is the only program around. Prior to this, the art form was learned in the street and was passed down from generation to generation.


We are working to preserve our culture.  We have taken the music into the conservatory, where it rightfully belongs, and developed a formal curriculum to ensure that the knowledge and traditions are passed on to our children. –Ramon Rodriquez


(Excerpts from interview in the Daily News NY article, Love of Latin music reaps two awards, by Chrisena Coleman)

 :: Related Resources








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