Musicianship in the Hispanic community

Arts & Culture Editor Antonio Conover gives a breakdown of some of the best musicians of Hispanic and Latinx backgrounds


Photo courtesy of Wikicommons

Cuban singer Pitbull continues to pave the way for other Latinix musicians

Antonio Conover, Arts & Culture Editor

Hispanic musicians are an integral part of the music and entertainment industry, shaping and breaking boundaries of the industry as a whole. Ranging from Grammy winners to No. 1 Billboard hits, Hispanic musicians have been dominating the industry with their fierce and fiery music. These musicians bring a whole new level of passion and dedication to their art and deserve proper recognition for their incredible artistry.

A man who has single-handedly united an entire generation with only four words deserves his fame. Pitbull, or “Mr. Worldwide,” has proven to the world that Latin infused pop and rap music belong in modern music. His work has only gotten better since his debut in 2004 and continues earning him spots on the Billboard top 100. 

But who is the man behind Pitbull? Born by Cuban immigrants, Pitbull, or Armando Christian Pérez is a first generation-American who emerged from the South Florida rap scene to an international pop superstar. He grew up in Miami with his mother Alysha Acosta and with a foster family in Georgia. During this time, he dedicated his time to rapping, hoping to one day receive his claim to fame as a Cuban-American rapper. While he faced various challenges from his record label going out of business to being ranked the “9th worst rapper of all time” by Gentleman’s Quarterly, Pitbull proved he belongs among the best names in the music industry. 

Currently on his “Can’t Stop Us Now” tour, Pitbull continues to sell out venues and perform unforgettable routines leaving you with an elevated heart rate and sweat-drenched T-shirt. 

“Pitbull is able to appeal both to American and Hispanic culture,” said junior Alexa Quintero.

Winning three Billboard music awards and nearly a dozen Latin Billboard music awards, Pitbull has made his presence known everywhere in the business. It’s almost as if he’s been there, and done that.

Musicians who tend to get overlooked are the instrumental/compositional artists. Composers are the backbone of any piece of music whether it’s for radio or a concert band. Spanish composer José Alberto Pina is breaking all boundaries in the band world and making his mark as a composer and conductor. Composing huge 20-minute long pieces, he’s one of the most in-demand composers and conductors for bands around the world. Performances ranging from Spain, Portugal and Germany, he’s done it all when it comes to bands. 

While his work is primarily done in Spain, Pina has gotten the attention of Hollywood business for his piece ”The Island of Light” which earned him a nomination for the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. His work is performed internationally by youth, collegiate and professional bands making his name known in the band and wind symphony world. 

As a performer myself, Pina has shown me the possibilities are endless as an instrumentalist, and that I can represent my culture through the art of music.

As a performer myself, Pina has shown me the possibilities are endless as an instrumentalist, and that I can represent my culture through the art of music.

One of the biggest voices in the music industry is none other than “Jenny from the block,” “JLo,” or yours truly, Jennifer Lopez. Her triple-threat power house has won her countless awards ranging from her singing, dancing and acting. Dominating every aspect in the entertainment industry, Lopez is the highest paid Latina ever in Hollywood.  Prior to her breakthrough, there were next to no Latin/Hispanic celebrities in top tier entertainment. She paved the way for generations to come, and continues to do so through her work with the United Nations. She is now “the first-ever Global Advocate for Girls and Women at the UN Foundation” according to the UN, where she will fight and advocate for the advancement of women’s rights. 

“With Pitbull, he’s accomplished a lot on his own and in America, but with JLo, she’s done it all,” said Quintero. “From her movies and songs, she’s shown the Hispanic community there’s opportunities to get big. She’s shown me that my presentation can get big.”

Musical styles provide a closer look into a culture as they develop from its history, society, traditions and religions, as well as from the music of surrounding cultures. Latin and Hispanic music derives from the early ages of indigenous tribes, and has since grown into the cultural phenomenon it is today. These are just some of the influences that have created the vibrant and rhythmic Hispanic and Latin American music we know today, and these artists have brought this music to life.