A new documentary, set to air on HBO and HBO Latino and narrated by John Leguizamo, will take a fresh look at the historic impact of Latin music in the U.S.
The doc, directed and produced by Matthew O’Neill and Jon Alpert (who earned an Oscar nomination for 2010’s China’s Unnatural Disaster about the 2008 Sichuan earthquake), was executive produced by Tommy Mottola, who helmed Sony in the days of the so-called Latin explosion of the late 1990s. Mottola was a crucial figure in the crossover success of artists like Marc Anthony, Martin, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, who were all signed to Sony labels at the time.
The Latin Explosion will chart the history and cultural impact of Latin artists and Latin musicians in the U.S. going back to the 1950s, and featuring interviews with names like Anthony, Martin, José Feliciano, Eva Longoria, George Lopez, Los Lobos, Cheech Marin, Rita Moreno, Romeo Santos, Thalía and Sofía Vergara.
IN concept, the documentary evokes the four-part PBS series Latin Music USA, which aired in 2009 and was narrated by Jimmy Smits. That documentary featured chapters on the Salsa Revolution and the Chicano Movement as well as more current divas and duperstars and also charted the beginnings of Latin music and culture in the U.S. dating back to the ’40s and ’50s.