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University Events

April 7, 2014

American Sabor exhibit recognizes influence of Latino flavor on pop music

The hot spot for music and entertainment in East Los Angeles on Nov. 13 was Cal State L.A. as the Fine Arts Gallery hosted the kickoff party for American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music.

The multimedia exhibit, organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES), showcases the musical contributions of Latinos and the influence they have had on jazz, rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and hip-hop.

Sections of the exhibit highlighting key musical centers of New York, Miami, San Antonio, San Francisco and Los Angeles tracked the influence of Latino rhythms on popular music and explored the social history and individual creativity that produced renowned musicians and performers such as Tito Puente, Ritchie Valens, Celia Cruz, Carlos Santana and Selena.

A bonus for the Los Angeles stop of the exhibit’s 13-city tour was a section organized by Professor Victor Viesca on cultural spaces in the Greater Eastside of Los Angeles that nurtured different music scenes. Among the memorabilia were photos from the Peace and Justice Center in Downtown L.A., which supported bands like Ozomatli and the Black Eyed Peas, as well as a flier promoting the first-ever Chicano Rock Concert, held at Cal State L.A. in 1972, which featured performances by Tierra and Guerrero and the Mudd Brothers.

In addition to the exhibit, which closed Feb. 9, the campus hosted dance workshops, a film series, speaker panels and concerts, which featured Eastside musicians such as Mark Guerrero (’77), Alicia “Bag” Armendariz (’84) and the Grammy Award-winning band Quetzal.

The exhibit was developed by Experience Music Project Museum and the University of Washington, and its national tour and related programs are made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund.

Mark Your Calendar

April 26 | 8 p.m. | Luckman Theatre
Singer, songwriter, model, activist, photographer—and former first lady of France—Carla Bruni will make a very rare Los Angeles appearance to perform songs from her fourth studio album, Little French Songs.



May 5-9
A groundbreaking, center openings, a lecture and comic book convention are some of the events being planned during the week. The capstone event will be the Investiture Ceremony for President William A. Covino at 11 a.m. May 9. For a complete list of events, visit

through May 24 | Luckman Gallery
This exhibition examines how death and mourning have been addressed by visual artists, ranging from 19th century post-mortem photographs to work in various media by international contemporary artists.