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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Beyond the pandemic, Asian American leaders fear U.S. conflict with China will fan racist backlash. This is happened before. Anti-Asian racism let to the Chinese exclusion act of 1882 which was used to ban all East Americans. Even today most Americans are not sophisticated enough to be able to distinguish between a Chinese, a Korean and a Japanese etc. Lack of exposure and ignorance are as American as apple pie. They don’t all look alike. “ Beyond the pandemic, Asian American leaders fear U.S. conflict with China will fan racist backlash David Nakamura Carol Narasaki listens to speakers during a protest organized by the Asian American Pacific Islanders Organizing Coalition Against Hate and Bias in Seattle. (Lindsey Wasson/Reuters) President Biden has sought to blunt a reported surge in anti-Asian bias incidents by ordering the federal government not to use xenophobic language to describe the coronavirus and by calling “vicious hate crimes” during the pandemic “un-American.” But Asian American leaders are warning that a deepening geopolitical confrontation between the United States and China is contributing to the heightened suspicion, prejudice and violence against their communities in ways that could continue to intensify even after the pandemic begins to subside. Advocates called Biden’s rhetorical efforts a welcome corrective to President Donald Trump, who railed against the “China virus” and “kung flu.” Yet the broadening conflict among the world’s two largest economies — on trade, defense, 5G networks, cybersecurity, the environment, health security and human rights — has contributed to a growing number of Americans calling ­China the “greatest enemy” of the United States, according to a Gallup poll this week. In the survey, 45 percent of respondents named China as the top threat, more than twice as many as a year earlier, when the country was ranked on par with Russia. Democrats and Republicans have voiced bipartisan support for a tougher U.S. policy, including economic sanctions on Beijing over cyber-intrusions, ­human rights violations and crackdowns on democracy in Hong Kong. “When America China-bashes, then Chinese get bashed, and so do those who look Chinese. American foreign policy in Asia is American domestic policy for Asians,” said Russell Jeung, a history professor at San Francisco State University who last year helped found Stop AAPI Hate (AAPI stands for Asian American and Pacific Islanders). The advocacy group has tallied more than 3,000 incidents of bias and hate during the pandemic. “The U.S.-China cold war — and especially the Republican strategy of scapegoating and attacking China for the virus — incited racism and hatred toward Asian Americans,” Jeung said. Politicians reacted on March 17 to the shootings at three Atlanta-area spas that left eight people dead, including six Asian women. (Joy Yi/The Washington Post) Anti-Asian attacks rise along with online vitriol A number of violent assaults on Asian Americans over the past two months, including some that went viral after being caught on video, have drawn political and media attention to escalating fears over public safety. The slaying of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at three Georgia spas on Tuesday sparked demands for an urgent response from authorities. Police arrested Robert Aaron Long, a White man, in connection with the killings and cited as a potential motive Long’s interest in eliminating “sexual temptation.” Suspect charged with killing 8 in Atlanta-area shootings that targeted Asian-run spas Not all of the cases appear to have a link to anger over the pandemic or were necessarily motivated by racial resentment. But advocates said they have collected enough anecdotal evidence through self-reporting portals set up last year by community groups to illustrate that attacks are spiking. And they are fearful that the intensifying competition between Washington and Beijing is contributing to scapegoating of Asian Americans in echoes of earlier periods of widespread hostility during geopolitical tumult and heightened nationalism in the United States. They pointed to the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 that banned the immigration of Chinese laborers amid national economic anxiety, the internment of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, and attacks on mosques and Muslim Americans in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. “For as long as Asians have been in America, we’ve been scapegoated, treated as outsiders and seen as untrustworthy. Too often, these prejudices are exploited for political gain,” said Christopher Lu, who served as White House Cabinet secretary and deputy labor secretary in the Obama administration. “As troubling as our current situation is, I am concerned that things are going to get much worse as U.S.-China tensions grow.” Asian American leaders acknowledged the need for the United States to develop a tougher strategy to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s influence campaign across the globe. The question, activists said, is how the federal government and elected officials speak publicly about the challenge and how far they go to counter it. Trump sought to blame Beijing for the outbreak of the pandemic, employing xenophobic language that was echoed by his supporters and other Republican officials and condemned by Democrats. But in April, weeks after the onset of the pandemic, Biden also drew heat from Democratic Congress members and community groups for a campaign advertisement that accused the 45th president of having “rolled over for the Chinese” in managing the coronavirus and cast China as a looming threat. Biden’s campaign apologized for the language and aired a revised version of the ad. But the episode illustrated the intensifying effort of both parties to appear tougher on Beijing. “It is clearly a difficult line to walk. However, I do believe there is a way of disagreeing with China’s policies without denigrating the Chinese people themselves,” said Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), chair of the House Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Attacks on Asian Americans during pandemic renew criticism that U.S. undercounts hate crimes Chu praised Biden for issuing an executive action in January aimed at barring federal agencies from blaming China for the pandemic and instructing the Justice Department to improve data collection on hate crimes. In a prime-time address to the nation last week about his administration’s coronavirus response, Biden decried attacks and harassment against Asian Americans who have been “forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets.” “It must stop,” Biden said. White House aides, including domestic policy adviser Susan Rice and senior adviser Cedric L. Richmond, met virtually with Asian American advocacy groups two weeks ago to hear their concerns. They pledged to use the power of the administration to combat violence but offered few specifics, according to activists who participated, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a private conversation. Chu and others have pushed Biden to elevate more Asian Americans to high-level jobs in his administration, noting there is only one Cabinet-level official of East Asian descent, Katherine Tai, who was confirmed Wednesday as U.S. trade representative. Attorney General Merrick Garland met with advocates on a video call Wednesday that lasted about 45 minutes, telling them he recognized that regardless of whether the Georgia killings were racially motivated, he understood the larger context in which the crime took place and the sense of alarm within the community, according to a person who participated. Asian American leaders have raised questions about the Justice Department’s “China Initiative” — launched by the Trump administration in 2018 — to amplify ongoing U.S. government efforts to counter the Chinese government’s attempts to steal billions of dollars a year in U.S. intellectual property. Advocates have said the program has led to unfair racial profiling of scientists and academics of Chinese descent. They pointed to the case of University of Kansas researcher Franklin Tao, a permanent U.S. resident who was indicted in 2019 and accused of failing to disclose an alleged teaching contract with a Chinese university while conducting federally funded research. His lawyers have denied the charges. “Publicly available information suggests at least 60 cases that have been filed had a reference to the China Initiative. Only a quarter of them have actually involved charges of espionage,” said John C. Yang, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, which has advocated on behalf of Tao, whose case is pending. Yang’s organization has asked the Biden administration to put a moratorium on the program and conduct a review of it. “This goes to the perpetual foreigner stereotype we always talk about,” Yang said, “where in various points in history, we are targeted unfairly.” Justice Department officials met with Asian American advocates two weeks ago, but they declined to comment on the future of that program. They have pledged to develop new grant programs for local police agencies to report on hate crime data and efforts to translate federal hate crime reporting portals into Chinese and other Asian languages. At her confirmation hearing last week, Lisa Monaco, Biden’s nominee for deputy attorney general, offered credit to the Trump administration for focusing on cyberthreats from China and said she expects to “double down” on the strategy. “This is an area I think we have a great deal more to do,” she told senators. On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced economic sanctions against two dozen Chinese and Hong Kong officials. The move came in advance of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s first meeting with Chinese counterparts in Alaska later this week. Last week, during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) asked Blinken about concerns among some advocacy groups that restrictions on assignments for U.S. diplomats has disproportionately blocked Asian American Foreign Service officers from work in Asian countries. “It sends a false message that people who look like me would be more disloyal,” Lieu told Blinken, who said he shared the concerns about inequities in the system. “As you manage the relationship with China, I want to remain vigilant that fear of a foreign country does not negatively impact the Asian Americ

Beyond the pandemic, Asian American leaders fear U.S. conflict with China will fan racist backlash


This is happened before. Anti-Asian racism let to the Chinese exclusion act of 1882 which was used to ban all East Americans. Even today most Americans are not sophisticated enough to be able to distinguish between a Chinese, a Korean and a Japanese etc. Lack of exposure and ignorance are as American as apple pie. They don’t all look alike.


Image without a caption

President Biden has sought to blunt a reported surge in anti-Asian bias incidents by ordering the federal government not to use xenophobic language to describe the coronavirus and by calling “vicious hate crimes” during the pandemic “un-American.”

But Asian American leaders are warning that a deepening geopolitical confrontation between the United States and China is contributing to the heightened suspicion, prejudice and violence against their communities in ways that could continue to intensify even after the pandemic begins to subside.

Advocates called Biden’s rhetorical efforts a welcome corrective to President Donald Trump, who railed against the “China virus” and “kung flu.” Yet the broadening conflict among the world’s two largest economies — on trade, defense, 5G networks, cybersecurity, the environment, health security and human rights — has contributed to a growing number of Americans calling ­China the “greatest enemy” of the United States, according to a Gallup poll this week.

In the survey, 45 percent of respondents named China as the top threat, more than twice as many as a year earlier, when the country was ranked on par with Russia. Democrats and Republicans have voiced bipartisan support for a tougher U.S. policy, including economic sanctions on Beijing over cyber-intrusions, ­human rights violations and crackdowns on democracy in Hong Kong.

“When America China-bashes, then Chinese get bashed, and so do those who look Chinese. American foreign policy in Asia is American domestic policy for Asians,” said Russell Jeung, a history professor at San Francisco State University who last year helped found Stop AAPI Hate (AAPI stands for Asian American and Pacific Islanders). The advocacy group has tallied more than 3,000 incidents of bias and hate during the pandemic.

“The U.S.-China cold war — and especially the Republican strategy of scapegoating and attacking China for the virus — incited racism and hatred toward Asian Americans,” Jeung said.

Politicians reacted on March 17 to the shootings at three Atlanta-area spas that left eight people dead, including six Asian women. (Joy Yi/The Washington Post)

A number of violent assaults on Asian Americans over the past two months, including some that went viral after being caught on video, have drawn political and media attention to escalating fears over public safety. The slaying of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at three Georgia spas on Tuesday sparked demands for an urgent response from authorities. Police arrested Robert Aaron Long, a White man, in connection with the killings and cited as a potential motive Long’s interest in eliminating “sexual temptation.”

Not all of the cases appear to have a link to anger over the pandemic or were necessarily motivated by racial resentment. But advocates said they have collected enough anecdotal evidence through self-reporting portals set up last year by community groups to illustrate that attacks are spiking.

And they are fearful that the intensifying competition between Washington and Beijing is contributing to scapegoating of Asian Americans in echoes of earlier periods of widespread hostility during geopolitical tumult and heightened nationalism in the United States.

They pointed to the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 that banned the immigration of Chinese laborers amid national economic anxiety, the internment of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, and attacks on mosques and Muslim Americans in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

“For as long as Asians have been in America, we’ve been scapegoated, treated as outsiders and seen as untrustworthy. Too often, these prejudices are exploited for political gain,” said Christopher Lu, who served as White House Cabinet secretary and deputy labor secretary in the Obama administration. “As troubling as our current situation is, I am concerned that things are going to get much worse as U.S.-China tensions grow.”

Asian American leaders acknowledged the need for the United States to develop a tougher strategy to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s influence campaign across the globe. The question, activists said, is how the federal government and elected officials speak publicly about the challenge and how far they go to counter it.

Trump sought to blame Beijing for the outbreak of the pandemic, employing xenophobic language that was echoed by his supporters and other Republican officials and condemned by Democrats.

But in April, weeks after the onset of the pandemic, Biden also drew heat from Democratic Congress members and community groups for a campaign advertisement that accused the 45th president of having “rolled over for the Chinese” in managing the coronavirus and cast China as a looming threat.

Biden’s campaign apologized for the language and aired a revised version of the ad. But the episode illustrated the intensifying effort of both parties to appear tougher on Beijing.

“It is clearly a difficult line to walk. However, I do believe there is a way of disagreeing with China’s policies without denigrating the Chinese people themselves,” said Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), chair of the House Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Chu praised Biden for issuing an executive action in January aimed at barring federal agencies from blaming China for the pandemic and instructing the Justice Department to improve data collection on hate crimes. In a prime-time address to the nation last week about his administration’s coronavirus response, Biden decried attacks and harassment against Asian Americans who have been “forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets.”

“It must stop,” Biden said.

White House aides, including domestic policy adviser Susan Rice and senior adviser Cedric L. Richmond, met virtually with Asian American advocacy groups two weeks ago to hear their concerns. They pledged to use the power of the administration to combat violence but offered few specifics, according to activists who participated, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a private conversation.

Chu and others have pushed Biden to elevate more Asian Americans to high-level jobs in his administration, noting there is only one Cabinet-level official of East Asian descent, Katherine Tai, who was confirmed Wednesday as U.S. trade representative.

Attorney General Merrick Garland met with advocates on a video call Wednesday that lasted about 45 minutes, telling them he recognized that regardless of whether the Georgia killings were racially motivated, he understood the larger context in which the crime took place and the sense of alarm within the community, according to a person who participated.

Asian American leaders have raised questions about the Justice Department’s “China Initiative” — launched by the Trump administration in 2018 — to amplify ongoing U.S. government efforts to counter the Chinese government’s attempts to steal billions of dollars a year in U.S. intellectual property.

Advocates have said the program has led to unfair racial profiling of scientists and academics of Chinese descent. They pointed to the case of University of Kansas researcher Franklin Tao, a permanent U.S. resident who was indicted in 2019 and accused of failing to disclose an alleged teaching contract with a Chinese university while conducting federally funded research. His lawyers have denied the charges.

“Publicly available information suggests at least 60 cases that have been filed had a reference to the China Initiative. Only a quarter of them have actually involved charges of espionage,” said John C. Yang, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, which has advocated on behalf of Tao, whose case is pending. Yang’s organization has asked the Biden administration to put a moratorium on the program and conduct a review of it.

“This goes to the perpetual foreigner stereotype we always talk about,” Yang said, “where in various points in history, we are targeted unfairly.”

Justice Department officials met with Asian American advocates two weeks ago, but they declined to comment on the future of that program. They have pledged to develop new grant programs for local police agencies to report on hate crime data and efforts to translate federal hate crime reporting portals into Chinese and other Asian languages.

At her confirmation hearing last week, Lisa Monaco, Biden’s nominee for deputy attorney general, offered credit to the Trump administration for focusing on cyberthreats from China and said she expects to “double down” on the strategy. “This is an area I think we have a great deal more to do,” she told senators.

On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced economic sanctions against two dozen Chinese and Hong Kong officials. The move came in advance of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s first meeting with Chinese counterparts in Alaska later this week.

Last week, during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) asked Blinken about concerns among some advocacy groups that restrictions on assignments for U.S. diplomats has disproportionately blocked Asian American Foreign Service officers from work in Asian countries.

“It sends a false message that people who look like me would be more disloyal,” Lieu told Blinken, who said he shared the concerns about inequities in the system. “As you manage the relationship with China, I want to remain vigilant that fear of a foreign country does not negatively impact the Asian American community.”

John Magufuli, Tanzania Leader Who Played Down Covid, Dies at 61 “Vaccines don’t work,” he told a maskless crowd. First elected in 2015, he pushed his East African nation deeper into authoritarianism.

John Magufuli, Tanzania Leader Who Played Down Covid, Dies at 61

“Vaccines don’t work,” he told a maskless crowd. First elected in 2015, he pushed his East African nation deeper into authoritarianism.

President John Magufuli of Tanzania, second from left, visiting Zimbabwe in 2019.
Aaron Ufumeli/EPA, via Shutterstock

NAIROBI, Kenya — President John Magufuli of Tanzania, a populist leader who played down the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic and steered his country away from democratic ideals, died on Wednesday in the port city of Dar es Salaam. He was 61.

Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan said in a brief televised address that Mr. Magufuli had died of heart complications while being treated at Mzena Hospital. The announcement followed more than a week of intense speculation that Mr. Magufuli was critically ill with Covid-19 — reports that senior government officials had repeatedly denied.

Ms. Hassan did not specify Mr. Magufuli’s underlying illness but said that he had suffered from chronic atrial fibrillation for more than a decade. She announced 14 days of national mourning and said that flags would fly at half-staff nationwide.

According to the Tanzanian Constitution, Ms. Hassan will be sworn in as president to serve the remainder of the five-year term that Mr. Magufuli began when he won re-election last October. The move will make her Tanzania’s first female leader.

Mr. Magufuli, a trained chemist, was first elected in October 2015 on an anticorruption platform. He was initially lauded for his efforts to bolster the economy, stem wasteful spending and upgrade Tanzania’s infrastructure.

But the leader, popularly known as “the Bulldozer,” was soon accused of muzzling dissent, rolling back freedom of expression and association, and pushing through laws that shored up his Party of the Revolution’s grip on power.

That marked a sharp departure from policies of his two immediate predecessors, who had promoted their East African nation as a peaceful, business-friendly democracy.

During his first term, Mr. Magufuli’s government banned opposition rallies, revoked the licenses of nongovernmental organizations and introduced laws that critics said repressed independent reporting. He also said that pregnant girls should not be allowed in school.

Mr. Magufuli at a campaign rally on the eve of the presidential election, in Dodoma, Tanzania in October.
Associated Press

Rights groups accused his government of failing to carry out credible investigations into the killings, abductions and persecution of journalists who were critical of the government and opposition figures.

As Mr. Magufuli sought a second term last fall, the authorities made it harder for opposition parties to campaign, froze the bank accounts of civil society groups, denied accreditation to election observers and journalists, and refused to let opposition representatives into polling stations.

On voting day, at least 10 people were killed when violence broke out in the semiautonomous archipelago of Zanzibar after citizens said they had seen soldiers delivering marked ballots.

Mr. Magufuli won that election with 84 percent of the vote amid accusations of widespread fraud and irregularities. Tundu Lissu, the main opposition candidate running against him, was accused of trying to overthrow the government and had to leave the country. He remains in exile in Belgium.

Over the past year, Mr. Magufuli came under intense criticism at home and abroad for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He railed against masks and social distancing, promoted unproven remedies as cures and said that God had helped the country eliminate the virus.

Tanzania has not shared data on the coronavirus with the World Health Organization since April, and it has reported just 509 cases and 21 deaths, figures that have been widely viewed with skepticism.

As vaccine rollouts began worldwide, Mr. Magufuli discouraged the Health Ministry from securing doses for Tanzania.

Associated Press

“Vaccines don’t work,” he claimed in a speech to a maskless crowd in late January. “If the white man was able to come up with vaccinations, then vaccines for AIDS would have been brought. Vaccines for tuberculosis would have made it a thing of the past. Vaccines for malaria would have been found. Vaccines for cancer would have been found.”

Such statements drew condemnation from the World Health Organization as well as the Roman Catholic Church in Tanzania. Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the W.H.O. regional director for Africa, urged the Tanzanian government to prepare the infrastructure to distribute the doses, writing on Twitter, “Science shows that #VaccinesWork.”

In February, the United States Embassy in Tanzania warned of “a significant increase in the number of Covid-19 cases” and said that “limited hospital capacity throughout Tanzania could result in life-threatening delays for emergency medical care.”

Mr. Magufuli’s death came just days after speculation that he was sick with the virus. The rumors started swirling after Mr. Lissu, the opposition figure in exile, said that the president had Covid-19 and was being treated in a hospital in neighboring Kenya. 

Mr. Lissu urged the authorities to disclose the whereabouts of the president, who had not been seen in public for almost two weeks. Mr. Magufuli did not attend a virtual summit for leaders of the East African regional bloc on Feb. 27.

Tanzanian officials had dismissed the speculation and said that Mr. Magufuli was working as usual.

After Mr. Magufuli’s death was announced on Wednesday, the leader of opposition party Act Wazalendo called on Tanzanians to show “patience and understanding” as the country undergoes a critical transitional period.

“This is an unprecedented moment,” the opposition party leader, Zitto Kabwe, said in a statement, “one that will undoubtedly move us all in very personal ways.”

John Pombe Joseph Magufuli was born on Oct. 29, 1959, in the district of Chato in northwestern Tanzania. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Dar es Salaam and, in 2009, a doctorate in chemistry from the same university, according to the presidential office’s website.

Before becoming president, he was a member of Tanzania’s Parliament and held a number of cabinet posts. He developed a reputation for fighting corruption while working in cabinet positions, including as the minister of lands, fisheries and public works.

Mr. Magufuli is survived by his wife, Janet, a primary-school teacher; and two children.“

Monday, February 15, 2021

La Esencia del Guaguanco - Oscar D' León & Johnny Pacheco

Johnny Pacheco, Who Helped Bring Salsa to the World, Dies at 85 - The New York Times

A Dominican-born bandleader and songwriter, he co-founded Fania Records, known as the Motown of Salsa.

Credit...Chad Batka for The New York Times

    Johnny Pacheco, the Dominican-born bandleader who co-founded the record label that turned salsa music into a worldwide sensation, died on Monday in Teaneck, N.J. He was 85.

    His wife, Maria Elena Pacheco, who is known as Cuqui, confirmed the death, at Holy Name Medical Center. Mr. Pacheco lived in Fort Lee, N.J.

    Fania Records, which he founded with Jerry Masucci in 1964, signed Latin music’s hottest talents of the 1960s and ’70s, including Celia Cruz, Willie Colón, Hector Lavoe and Rubén Blades. Mr. Pacheco, a gifted flutist, led the way on and off the stage, working as a songwriter, arranger and leader of the Fania All Stars, salsa’s first supergroup.

    From the beginning, he partnered with young musicians who were stirring jazz, rhythm and blues, funk and other styles into traditional Afro-Cuban music.

    By the 1970s, Fania, sometimes called the Motown of salsa, was a powerhouse in Latin music, and the Fania All Stars were touring the world. The label gave birth to combustive creative collaborations, like that between Mr. Colón, a trombonist and composer, and Mr. Blades, a socially conscious lyricist and singer; and to cult heroes like Mr. Lavoe, the Puerto Rican singer who battled drug addiction and died of AIDS-related complications at 46.

    Fania dissolved in the mid-1980s amid lawsuits involving royalties, and in 2005, Emusica, a Miami company, purchased the Fania catalog and began releasing remastered versions of its classic recordings.

    Juan Azarías Pacheco Knipping was born on March 25, 1935, in Santiago de los Caballeros, in the Dominican Republic. His father, Rafael Azarias Pacheco, was a renowned bandleader and clarinetist. His mother, Octavia Knipping Rochet, was the granddaughter of a French colonist and the great-granddaughter of a German merchant who had married a Dominican woman born to Spanish colonists.

    The family moved to New York when Johnny was 11, and he studied percussion at the Juilliard School and worked in Latin bands before starting his own, Pacheco y Su Charanga, in 1960.

    The band signed with Alegre Records, and its first album sold more than 100,000 copies in the first year, becoming one the best-selling Latin albums of its time, according to his official website. It jump-started Mr. Pacheco’s career with the introduction of a new dance craze called the pachanga. He became an international star, touring the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

    Fania Records was born out of an unlikely partnership between Mr. Pacheco and Mr. Masucci, a former police officer turned lawyer who fell in love with Latin music during a visit to Cuba.

    From its humble beginnings in Harlem and the Bronx — where releases were sold from the trunks of cars — Fania brought an urbane sensibility to Latin music. In New York, the music had taken on the name “salsa” (Spanish for sauce, as in hot sauce), and the Fania label began using it as part of its marketing.

    Guided by Mr. Pacheco, artists built a new sound based on traditional clave rhythms and the genre Cuban son (or son Cubano), but faster and more aggressive. Many of the lyrics — about racism, cultural pride and the tumultuous politics of the era — were far removed from the pastoral and romantic scenes in traditional Cuban songs.

    In that sense, salsa was “homegrown American music, as much a part of the indigenous musical landscape as jazz or rock or hip-hop,” Jody Rosen wrote in The New York Times in 2006 on the occasion of the reissue of the Fania master tapes — after they had spent years gathering mold in a warehouse in Hudson, N.Y.

    Credit...Fania

    Mr. Pacheco teamed up with Ms. Cruz in the early 1970s. Their first album, “Celia & Johnny,” was a potent mix of hard-driving salsa with infectious choruses and virtuosic performances. It soon went gold, thanks to Ms. Cruz’s vocal prowess and Mr. Pacheco’s big-band direction, and its first track, the up-tempo “Quimbara,” helped propel Ms. Cruz’s career to Queen of Salsa status.

    The two released more than 10 albums together; Mr. Pacheco was a producer on her last solo recording, “La Negra Tiene Tumbao,” which won the Grammy for best salsa album in 2002.

    Over the years, Mr. Pacheco produced for several artists and performed all over the world, and he contributed to movie soundtracks, including one for “The Mambo Kings,” a 1992 film based on based on Oscar Hijuelos’s novel “The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love.” For the Jonathan Demme movie “Something Wild,” he teamed up with David Byrne, leader of the Talking Heads, one of his many eclectic partnerships.

    Mr. Pacheco, the recipient of numerous awards and honors both in the Dominican Republican and the United States, was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1998. He wrote more than 150 songs, many of them now classics.

    For many years he spearheaded the Johnny Pacheco Latin Music and Jazz Festival at Lehman College in the Bronx, an annual event in collaboration with the college (streamed live in recent years) that provides a stage for hundreds of talented young musicians studying music in New York City schools.

    In addition to this wife, Mr. Pacheco’s survivors include two daughters, Norma and Joanne; and two sons, Elis and Phillip.

    The salsa phenomenon that Mr. Pacheco created hit a new high on Aug. 23, 1973, with a volcanic sold-out show at Yankee Stadium, where the Fania All Stars brought 40,000 fans to a musical frenzy, led by Mr. Pacheco, his rhinestone-encrusted white shirt soaked in sweat. The concert cemented the band’s, and his, legendary stature.

    Credit...Fania Records

    In 1975, Fania released the long-awaited double album “Live at Yankee Stadium,” which, despite the name, also included material from a show at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in Puerto Rico that had much better sound quality. The album earned the Fania All Stars their first Grammy nomination for best Latin recording.

    In 2004, the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry.

    Michael Levenson contributed reporting."


    Johnny Pacheco, Who Helped Bring Salsa to the World, Dies at 85 - The New York Times

    Sunday, February 14, 2021

    Milford Graves (full set) - Hopscotch 2019

    Milford Graves: the pioneering drummer whose naturalistic rhythms freed up jazz

    Milford Graves: the pioneering drummer whose naturalistic rhythms freed up jazz

    ‘Reaching for inspiration back into the music’s deepest origins’ ... Milford Graves.
    ‘Reaching for inspiration back into the music’s deepest origins’ ... Milford Graves.

    Last modified on Sun 14 Feb 2021 07.35 EST

    Of all the freedoms opened up by the free-jazz revolution of the 1960s, none was more radical or, to many, disturbing than the freeing of rhythm from fixed points of bar lines and regular time signatures. The American drummer Milford Graves, who has died aged 79, was in the forefront of that move to create momentum through surges of energy that seemed to reflect the social and political passions driving what became known simply as the new music.

    Graves collaborated with many of the movement’s leaders, including the pianist Don Pullen and the saxophonist Albert Ayler, in a long and influential career as a performer. But he was much more than that. In the description of the composer and saxophonist John Zorn, he was its shaman: a student – and eventually teacher – of many disciplines, from linguistics and human biology to martial arts.

    Like that of his contemporary Sunny Murray, Graves’s drumming appeared to reject the clarity and technical sophistication, with its origins in military-band rudiments, developed over decades by jazz drummers and brought to a peak in the bebop era by the likes of Max Roach. Sometimes he would use tree branches or other implements instead of regular drumsticks. He threw away the snare that gave the snare drum its crisp sound and detuned his tom-toms, removing the bottom heads (skins) to create a different projection of the sound. Sceptics viewed all this as a reversion to primitivism. In fact, it was another kind of sophistication, reaching for inspiration back into the music’s deepest origins.

    The jazz drummer, herbalist, biologist, visual artist and martial arts practitioner in his garden.
    The jazz drummer, herbalist, biologist, visual artist and martial arts practitioner in his garden.Photograph: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy

    “I work for natural sounds rather than trying to sound like drums,” he told Val Wilmer in the 1970s. “Sometimes I try to sound like car motors or the continuous cracking of glass.” Disciples of Buddy Rich were duly scandalised.

    Born in the New York borough of Queens in 1941, Graves began by playing conga drums and timbales in Latin groups, some of them featuring a young classically trained pianist named Chick Corea. Facing prejudice against non-Latino players in that environment, Graves refused to do what many others were doing and change his name to something that sounded Hispanic.

    Invited by his fellow percussionist Don Alias to take part in a summer school in Boston in 1963, he met the saxophonist Giuseppi Logan and for the first time started using a conventional drum kit. With Logan he began to explore the possibilities offered by non-metred rhythms; back in New York they fell in with a crowd of musicians playing mostly in coffee houses who eventually, under the aegis of the trumpeter Bill Dixon, coalesced into the following year’s October Revolution in Jazz, a festival at the Cellar Café featuring Logan and Graves alongside the groups of the pianists Sun Ra and Paul Bley, the saxophonist John Tchicai and others.

    Soon Graves was appearing on the ESP label’s recordings by Logan, Bley and the New York Art Quartet, a highly influential group led by Tchicai and the trombonist Roswell Rudd. In 1966, he and Pullen recorded a duo concert at Yale University and released it on their own label, hand-painting the covers of albums that would become highly prized collectors’ items. The following year he joined the quartet of Albert Ayler; they played at the Newport Jazz festival and, three weeks later, opened John Coltrane’s funeral in St Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York City, an emotional ceremony closed by Ornette Coleman’s quartet.

    Graves left Ayler when the saxophonist began to head in a more commercial direction. Thereafter his appearances on record were sporadic, although they included the guitarist Sonny Sharrock’s Black Woman and two albums of solo percussion on Zorn’s Tzadik label.

    He life took a different turn in 1973 when, at Dixon’s invitation, he accepted a teaching post in the Black Music department at Bennington College, a liberal arts establishment in Vermont. The students in his first year were almost uniformly white – “they weren’t speaking no ghetto language,” he said – but he would spend the next 39 years there imparting the wisdom collected through his own studies in many fields, in particular, the fluctuations of the human heartbeat, through which he explained his own approach to rhythm. As he told Alan Licht in an interview for The Wire magazine: “All you gotta do is feel your wrist pulse, and start counting, and you’re gonna find yourself at times counting a little faster and a little slower. You’re not gonna have a steady beat. If you do have a steady beat, that’s dangerous. Extremely dangerous.”

    In place of that steady beat, Graves discovered rhythms that required a different drummer: one with a knowledge of gardening and herbalism, of algorithms and acupuncture, of painting and sculpture, who studied the neuromuscular properties of Chinese or Yoruba singing as well as Indian drumming; one who collaborated with Lou Reed and the Japanese dancer Min Tanaka, and who created his music in the way he cooked his meals, with ingredients from around the world and the rhythms of the human heart.’


    Milford Graves: the pioneering drummer whose naturalistic rhythms freed up jazzMilford Graves: the pioneering drummer whose naturalistic rhythms freed up jazz