Thursday, December 8, 2005

Nashville's emergent Hispanic musical tradition

The Nashville Rage published this article describing two Nashville clubs that cater to the Hispanic market, noting that some Hispanic Nashvillians long for more options:

"[R]egardless of the language being sung, Hispanic nightlife is familiar territory: dancing, drinking and dining."

"It's Saturday night at Latin dance club Ibiza, and the DJ calls for international shout-outs: 'Puerto Rico!' The crowd roars. 'Columbia! Honduras! Guatemala! Dominican Republic! Cuba!'"

"Ibiza's live performers come from as many countries as their patrons do. 'Our most popular group so far was N'Klabe, a young salsa group from Puerto Rico,' Santiago says."

"Live music is the cornerstone of entertainment at Coco Loco, another popular Latin nightclub on Nolensville Road. 'We've had bands from the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Columbia,' owner Santos Gonzales says. 'We also regularly have guest DJs from all over. We have a very multicultural clientele.'"

"Despite the variety of venues available, some Spanish-speaking Nashville residents say they think there's something missing. Hispanic Marketing Group owner Marcela Gomez says her friends usually end up hanging out at home on a Friday night. 'I'm not into reggaeton or any of that,' Gomez says. 'We really are lacking a place for Hispanics who have been here a while but still enjoy Latin entertainment.'"

Nashville also boasts versatile Hispanic musicians who play in more than just Hispanic clubs. This article in the Tennessean features a rich biographical portrait of Nashville Tejano musician Rafael Vasquez, who moved to Nashville 25 years ago and currently leads the band San Rafael.

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