Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration


In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Diversity Club is featuring daily inspiration from Hispanic/Latin artists and is working on our school wide assembly.

We are starting our day off right with music! See the featured artists listed below. 

Our assembly keynote speaker is Hannah Umansky-Castro, MSDA graduate of the Class of 2012 and Harvard University alumna. We look forward to this event in October.


Celia Cruz - a Cuban singer and one of the most revered Latin artists of the twentieth century. Her discography reflects the rich diversity of Cuba, as it melds both African and Spanish styles. The songs heard over the loudspeaker were: "Azúcar Negra", a celebration of Cruz's Afro-Cuban roots and a battle cry for those enslaved on Cuba's sugar plantations and "Guantanamera", a Cuban patriotic anthem that has been covered by a multitude of artists. Cruz's version commemorates José Martí, a national hero remembered for his contributions towards the liberation of Cuba from Spain.

Gloria Estefan - one of the best selling female artists of all time. As a result of the Cuban Revolution, Estefan's family fled to Miami, Florida, where she began her prolific career as the lead singer of the band Miami Sound Machine. Both as part of a musical group and in her solo work, Estefan blended Latin and pop sounds to create the following hits: "Conga" and "Mi Tierra."

Tito Puente - an American musician and bandleader whose prolific career gave us one of last year's spotlights, "Oye Cómo Va." The club shares with you these featured songs: "Ran Kan Kan" and "Mambo Gozón," which both reflect Puente's synthesis of the cha-cha-chá and mambo. 

Cheo Feliciano - a pioneer of the salsa genre who weaved the Cuban style of bolero, as well as West African rhythms into much of his work. We heard Feliciano's most famous song "Anacaona," or "golden flower." "Anacaona" tells the story of its namesake, an empowered, female Taino chief who famously refused Christopher Columbus and led her people in opposition against the Spanish invaders.

Prince Royce - a Dominican-American singer whose music melds R&B, pop, and bachata. As we walked into Morning Meeting, we heard “Darte Un Beso,” “Corazón Sin Cara,” and Royce’s bilingual cover of “Stand By Me.

Gipsy Kings - a French group whose members are mostly descended from Spanish Romani who fled Spain during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The Gipsy Kings popularized the musical genre rumba flamenca, a style of music that originated in Cuba and was brought to southern Spain, and our selected song "Volare" was featured.

Otros Aires - a Spanish-Argentine tango group known for their synthesis of South American tango and milonga with pop and electronic sequences of the twenty-first century. "Sin Rumbo" samples the classic tango song, "La Viruta."

Aventura - an American bachata group that formed in the Bronx. The band's musical style reflects a wide variety of influences, including rap, reggaeton, salsa, and the Jamaican genre dancehall. We heard their 2002 hit song "Obsesión" to start the day off right!

Mirella Cesa - an Ecuadorian musician considered by many to be the Mother of Andipop, or Andean pop music. An example of Cesa's blend of musical styles is through the instruments featured in her work: the guitar; the charango, a small ten-stringed instrument whose use is widespread across the Andes regions of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina; and the rondador, a flute that is also the national instrument of Ecuador. As we walked into Morning Meeting, we heard three of her greatest hits: "Vaivén," "A Besos," and "Somos."

Yma Sumac - a Peruvian singer famous for her five-octave vocal range and performance of a wide variety of genres, including rock, salsa, and mambo. We shared the "Gopher Mambo" and "Malambo No. 1," both of which featured on Sumac's fifth studio album Mambo!

Buena Vista Social Club - an ensemble of Cuban musicians whose name comes from a popular Havana music club that closed upon the Cuban Revolution of 1959. Over two dozen artists have been a part of Buena Vista Social Club since its founding in 1996; consequently, a wide variety of musical styles have been showcased across the band's discography, including Son Cubano, bolero, guajira, and danzón. We heard "El Cuarto de Tula," a piece that unites jazz and bachata.

Luis Vargas - a Dominican musician that specializes in the bachata style of music. This genre, as well as its corresponding dance, features Spanish, Taino, and Sub-Saharan African musical elements. We heard the following songs: "Loco de Amor" and "Volvió el dolor."

Debi Nova - a Costa Rican singer-songwriter whose discography synthesizes pop and dance styles from around the world. We heard her Grammy-nominated hit, "Quédate," on which she partnered with Puerto Rican artist Pedro Capó. 

Los Kjarkas - a Bolivian band considered to be one of the most popular Andean folk groups in the country's history. Among the genres the band plays includes Saya, a blend of indigenous and Central African musical styles that uses stringed instruments and wind instruments, such as the quena, the traditional flute of the Andes. We heard the ballad "Imillitay," which has both Spanish and Quechua lyrics.

Marc Anthony - an American singer-songwriter of Puerto Rican descent. He is the top selling tropical salsa artist of all time and is a nine-time Grammy winner. Anthony’s discography, which blends salsa with R&B and pop, has scored him mainstream success on a global level. We heard the following songs: “Dímelo” (better known to the English-speaking world as “I Need to Know”) and "Vivir Mi Vida.”

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