A new exhibit celebrates the history of Latin music in the Bronx.
On Friday, June 5, the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation held an opening reception for their new art exhibit, Visual Clave, at the Bronx Music Heritage Center.
The exhibit explores the evolution of Latin music cover art over the last 50 years and displays original album covers from Latin vinyls – album artwork which includes paintings, photographs, sculptures and layouts.
The name of the exhibit, Visual Clave, comes from the African-derived 2-3 or 3-2 beat used in almost all genres of Latin music, as well as the wood percussion sticks used to mark these syncopated time signatures.
Displaying vinyl album artwork from Latin artists such as Tito Puente, Beny More and Tito Rodriguez, the Visual Clave exhibit is a tribute to the artists as well as the photographers, producers, promoters, songwriters and every individual involved in the completion of each album.
The exhibit which configures half a century of musical creativity also shows a deep appreciation for the history that the Bronx has witnessed regarding music of all genres, not just Latin music.
“This exhibit, although focusing primarily on Latin music, is a celebration and a tribute to the history of music in the Bronx in the past 50 years – from the Jazz clubs on Boston Post Road to the movement of Irish music in Woodlawn to the Bronx being the birthplace of Hip Hop,” said Elena Martinez, one of the co-artistic directors of the Bronx Music Heritage Center.
“Iconic album/vinyl covers are identifiable art to many and I’m glad the (Bronx Music Heritage) Center is celebrating this part of music history in a visual way,” he said
Martinez also added that many of the artwork being displayed in the center originates from Latin artists and musicians who grew up in nearby areas just decades earlier – allowing Bronxites who visit the exhibit to appreciate the history behind it even further.
“Many of these musicians and artists created their best work in nearby neighborhoods such as Hunts Point, Longwood and Morrisania. This was their stomping grounds – and they eventually became the voices of their communities.”
The Visual Clave exhibit runs from now until Saturday, August 15, with a closing reception taking place on Friday, August 14. The sister exhibit, taking place at the Picture Farm Gallery in Brooklyn, opened on Saturday, June 6.