Grupo Folklórico y Experimental Nuevayorquino
- Roberta L. Singer
Latin music ensemble. Even at its most experimental, Grupo Folklórico remains faithful to core Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican traditional music values. The group evolved out of the Puerto Rican and Pan-Latino cultural, social, and political milieu in New York in the early 1970s. Its emergence was spearheaded by Bronx Nuyorican brothers Andy and Jerry González. They gathered together some of the finest musicians in Latin music (e.g. Manny Oquendo, Oscar Hernández, Henny Alvarez, and “Chocolate” Armenteros) to create a sound born of New York, one that would interweave the rhythms of the Caribbean and Latin America with the sounds and styles of soul and jazz. Descarga (jam session) was the group’s signature style, and improvisation its driving force. The title of their first album, Concepts in Unity (Salsoul, 1976), expresses the Pan-Latino spirit of the times and of the founding artists and record producers, René López and Andy Kaufman. The group played at festivals and colleges and had the distinction of performing at President Jimmy Carter’s inaugural ball. They released their second album, ...