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Los Olvidados “The Forgotten Ones"

Martin French

No matter the label (Latin Jazz, Afro-Latin Jazz, Afro-Cuban Jazz etc.) Jazz simply isn't Jazz without the scope of Latin influence that helped shaped it.

As the Smithsonian National American Latino Museum takes root, advocates are quick to mention the immense scope of history this new institution must undertake. Spanning more than 500 years and 24 countries, the museum will attempt to cover the vast history shaping the current identity of Latinos and their remarkably rich and diverse contributions to American history. In the context of the Pan-Latin influence on Jazz, the contributions are no less rich, diverse, fundamental or innovative.

Los Olvidados ("The Forgotten Ones") is a one hour audio documentary exploring some of the unique historical, cultural, and artistic contributions that encompass the Latin experience in Jazz. The program explores the viewpoints and music of a special group of award winning artists, scholars and activists. Jane Bunnett, Dr. Martha Gonzalez, Dr. Benjamin Lapidus, Yilian Cañizares, Arturo O'Farrill, Michele Rosewoman, Bobby Sanabria, John Santos, Dr. Chris Washburne and Miguel Zenón will speak to the inspiration they maintain as contributors, educators, and creative thinkers within Pan-Latin Jazz.

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As part of the African diasporic tradition, Latin musicians have engineered their innovation by hybridizing culture in order to survive in new lands where colonization, slavery and systemic oppression shaped their existence. Embedded into these traditions are the spiritual rituals, folkloric pathways, resplendent narratives, and the enduring elasticity of rhythm that carried African music to the Americas.

Whether originating from Panama, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Trinidad or storied urban centers in the United States, this magnificent groove, and the rhythmic tension it's built on, embody the quintessential nature of Jazz. Featuring influential contemporary musicians, critics and curators of Pan-Latin music, Los Olvidados will explore how this storied musical tradition continues to combat a legacy of indifference, while remaining at the forefront of musicality transforming the quintessential nature of Jazz.

Special thanks to Jane Bunnett, Dr. Martha Gonzalez, Dr. Benjamin Lapidus, Yilian Cañizares, Arturo O'Farrill, Michele Rosewoman, Bobby Sanabria, John Santos, Dr. Chris Washburne, Miguel Zenón, José Massó and Martin French.

Airs Saturday, October 1 at 8AM on 88.3FM

Brooklyn born Stevan Smith graduated from the exceptional Boys and Girls High School and attended the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management at Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD), where he decided to switch to a path that would allow him to follow his passion for music. Introduced to Jazz music via Hip-Hop, Stevan started a radio programming internship at the MSU owned WEAA 88.9 FM, where he rose to Assistant Program Director. He then spent 12 years at WBGO as Traffic and Continuity Manager, where he contributed to the station's digital efforts, produced features for broadcast, and filled in as a guest announcer. For three years, Smith then served as Assistant Program Director at WNYC, during which time he continued to produce podcasts for himself and others. He returned to WBGO in 2021 as Chief Content Officer.