Cover for LOZA: Barrio Rhythm: Mexican American Music in Los Angeles

Barrio Rhythm

Mexican American Music in Los Angeles

Chicano music, East L.A., and a Mexican American generation

The hit movie La Bamba (based on the life of Richie Valens), the versatile singer Linda Ronstadt, and the popular rock group Los Lobos all have roots in the dynamic music of the Mexican American community in East Los Angeles. The "Eastside Renaissance" in the region gave barrio music a symbolic power throughout the Southwest, yet its story has remained undocumented and virtually untold. In Barrio Rhythm, Steven Loza brings this hidden history to life, demonstrating the music's essential role in the cultural development of East Los Angeles and its influence on mainstream popular culture. Drawing from oral histories and other primary sources, as well as from appropriate representative songs, Loza provides a historical overview of the music from the nineteenth century to the present and offers in-depth profiles of nine Mexican American artists, groups, and entrepreneurs in Southern California from the post-World War II era to the present. His interviews with many of today's most influential barrio musicians, including members of Los Lobos, chronicle the cultural forces active in this complex urban community.


Steven Loza a professor of ethnomusicology and director of the UCLA Center for Latino Arts at UCLA. He is the author of Tito Puente and the Making of Latin Music and The Jazz Pilgrimage of Gerald Wilson.

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