Blades [Bellido de Luna], Rubén
- Tania Camacho-Azofeifa
(b Panama City, Panama, July 16, 1946). Panamanian singer, songwriter, actor, and activist. His musical projects are mostly defined by his commitment to social justice and civil rights. The US military occupation of the Canal Zone and riots of 1964, and the military coup of 1968 impacted young Blades’s consciousness and artistry. Afro-Caribbean music of the 1970–80s, the Nueva Canción movement of the 1960–70s, and regional political events shaped his songs, which search for an urban sound and tell everyday life stories. His musical career started in Panama, performing with local bands while attending Law School. In 1969, Blades traveled to New York, when his university closed temporarily as a consequence of political instability. After recording From Panamá to New York: Pete Rodríguez Presents Rubén Blades, he returned to Panama and graduated in 1972. Opposed to the military regime, Blades moved back to New York, debuted with Ray Barretto in ...