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September 15th through October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s dedicated to folks with roots in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Spain. But it’s also a time for all of us in this great melting pot to celebrate who we collectively ALL are.

PBS Western Reserve Public Media (Channels 45/49) is airing a month long series. Latino Americans is six one-hour documentaries featuring interviews with nearly 100 Latinos – and more than 500 years of History. (See times and dates here.)

I. Foreigners in their Own Land (1565-1880)
II. Empire of Dreams (1880-1942)
III. War and Peace (1942-1954)
IV. The New Latinos (1946-1965)
V. Prejudice and Pride (1965-1980)
VI. Peril and Promise (1980-2000)

Uncounted musicians from Central and South America have transformed lives round the world through their artistry. Here are just a few:

Manuel Barrueco is a Cuban classical guitarist, born in 1952 in Santiago de Cuba. He has toured in the US, Europe and Japan, and serves on the faculty of Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland.
Manuel Barrueco
Manuel Barrueco (ML Films)
Carlos Bonilla
Carlos Bonilla
Carlos Galo Raúl Bonilla Chávez – better known as Carlos Bonilla – was born in Quito, on March 21, 1923 and died there on January 10, 2010. He was one of the pioneers of the Ecuadorian classical guitar and an important figure in 20th-century Ecuadorian music.
Juan Leovigildo Brouwer Mezquida was born March 1, 1939 in Havana. He is a Cuban composer, conductor, and guitarist. He usually goes by the name of Leo Brouwer.
Leo Brouwer
Leo Brouwer
(Wikimedia Commons)
Gustavo Dudamel
Gustavo Dudamel
(Music Education UK)
Gustavo Adolfo Dudamel Ramírez is a rising Venezuelan conductor and violinist. He is the music director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and honorary conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony.
Antonio Lauro (August 3, 1917 – April 18, 1986) was a Venezuelan musician, one of the foremost South American composers for the guitar in the 20th century.
Antonio Lauro
Antonio Lauro
Tania Leon
Tania Leon
(Wikimedia Commons)
Tania León (born May 14, 1943 in Havana) is a composer, conductor, educator and advisor to arts organizations. She has been profiled on ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, Univision, and Telemundo. She’s also been the subject of independent films.

— Sylvia Docking

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