Senator Serrano yesterday introduced a resolution in the State Senate that honored the life and music of Joe Cuba, a renowned musician who ventured into all aspects of Latin music. The resolution passed unanimously, a testament to the importance of Cuba's contribution to the music and culture of the community he loved so much.
"It is a great privilege to be able to pay my respects to Joe Cuba with this resolution," said Serrano, chair of the Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Committee. "Joe Cuba's music defines an era."
Cuba is most famously known as the Father of the Boogaloo, a 1960s musical style that mixed African-American and Latino musical traditions. Boogaloo was a powerful reminder of the diversity and vitality of the neighborhood that spawned the style. The fusion of Latin and R&B rhythms exploded onto the popular charts in the 1960s and 1970s, and helped to define the emerging Nuyorican identity of the time.
"As a distinctly New York sound, boogaloo is an important part of the history of El Barrio," Serrano said. "By singing in English as well as Spanish, he was able to introduce Latin music to a wide audience."
Cuba passed away at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City on Sunday, February 15, 2009. He is survived by his wife Maria Calderon, sons Mitchell and Cesar, daughter Lisa and grandchildren Nicole and Alexis.
To see the video "Serrano Passes Senate Resolution Honoring JoeCuba" on the Senate floor:
source: press release from Senator Serrano's office
(photo of Senator Serrano)