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Celebrate Memphis: What music means to the Latinx community

Every culture has its own sound that makes it unique and when it comes to Latinx music, whether upbeat or slow, it is hard to not move your body.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — All month long, ABC24 is celebrating our Hispanic Heritage. 

Every culture has its own sound that makes it unique and when it comes to Latinx music, whether upbeat or slow, it is hard to not move your body.

Whether it's the beat, the rhythm, or the words, Latinx music is rich in its culture and sound.

Latinx Artist Chito Sanchez says music is the best instrument that brings everyone together.

“Your blood, it runs faster. When we say that, maybe not be scientifically true, but when we say it runs faster, it means we have access from our minds to reach our music or any type of art immediately without any type of restrictions,’ Chito explained. ‘So you are in this party and table, you hear the music and you’re already moving. You don’t need to wait for someone to tell you, you wanna go dance. We’re already dancing, we’re already singing.’”

Chito is a lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist in the Don Ramon band here in Memphis. The band plays Hispanic rock music with fusions of Latinx rhythm.

Posted by Don Ramon Music on Saturday, September 3, 2022

Chito said the different elements are what makes their sound one-of-a-kind, yet relatable.

“We integrate things like Santana, Sublime, and some of those other songs that can be recognized from all the crowd in Memphis, with Latin rhythms. We include trombones, saxophone, and trumpets to make it more like a brass section with the…and the rock and with the Santana music.”

Also here in Memphis, is the tropical fusion band, which represents five different countries, including the U.S., Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, and Columbia.

It is the only tropical band in Memphis. Columbia Native Valentina Henao and her Cuban husband created the band four years ago to give people something new.

“Memphis is a very diverse city and a lot of people are not aware of that,” Valentina said. “We just feel that we are building that bridge and helping to connect with all the different languages, cultures and etc.”

Valentina said it is a lot that comes with their music.

"Latin music has a lot of influence from Africa, just different parts of the world, so on stage we’re just one. We connect with everybody, we don’t care what language you speak. What color you are, what race…we feel that we are all connected.”

Both of those bands are a part of the Cazateatro Bilingual Theater Group, which is a non-profit organization here in Tennessee that aims to introduce those in the mid-south and greater Memphis community to the many facets of Latinx art and culture through bilingual theatre productions, cultural events and more. 

There will be many events throughout the month. You can click here for more details.

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