Puerto Rico Marks A Century Of U.S. Citizenship And Musical Exchange

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The iconic Tito Puente is featured in this week's show as we look back on 100 years of Puerto Rican citizenship.

March 2, 2017 marks the centennial of the Jones-Shafroth Act, legislation passed by the U.S. Congress that granted citizenship to the people living in Puerto Rico. (The territory had become U.S. property in 1898, at the end of the Spanish-American War.)

The result has been a century of Puerto Rican culture becoming part of the U.S. fabric, and nowhere is that more evident than in music.

This week, percussionist and educator Bobby Sanabria joins us as we hop in the Way Back Machine and explore some of the highlights of 100 years of musical cross-fertilization. We'll hear examples of artists adapting the music of Puerto Rico to styles popular in the wider U.S. — but mostly it's a story of biculturalism, of artists with Puerto Rican roots who are equally fluent in the musical languages of both the island and the mainland.

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