The program of a 1945 “Latin-American Fiesta” starring Desi Arnaz, concert photos of Yma Sumac, Celia Cruz and Tito Puente, and videos of current Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel are included in an exhibition spotlighting Latin artists who’ve played Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl since the 1920s.
“Música y Sabor” opens tonight (June 17) at the Hollywood Bowl Museum on the grounds of the historic amphitheater.
“The depth and breadth of Latino artists who have performed here at the Bowl is incredibly vast,” says Carol Merrill-Mirsky, the museum’s curator who organized the yearlong show with Betto Arcos.
Material that Mirsky uncovered in the Bowl’s archives includes live recordings of concerts by Lola Beltran, Lucho Gatica and other Latin icons, which can be heard at a listening kiosk in the exhibition.
The exhibit traces widespread trends in U.S. Latin music through past performances at the Bowl, starting with 1920s classical concerts of music by Manuel Falla and other Spanish composers, and Mexican-tinged compositions like Ravel’s “Bolero.” The show documents the Bowl’s 1940s “Pan-American” nights, ’50s Afro-Cuban concerts, the arrival of bossa nova in the ’60s, and salsa dance parties in the 1970s, as well as more recent Latin sounds heard at the venue’s popular summer series.
In addition to photos, concert programs, audio and video, the gallery features a dancefloor that the public can try out on Aug. 13, before a concert by Rodrigo y Gabriela and Mujeres de Agua featuring Buika.