Harlem-born latin boogaloo artist who combines his love of doo-wop and soul into his own signature style.
Featuring 6pm dance workshop “Rhythm & Power: ¡Dance Nueva York!” in association with the Museum of the City of New York and inspired by the exhibition and program series, Rhythm & Power: Salsa in New York.
Born in Spanish Harlem, with Filipino and African-American heritage, Joe Bataan’s iconic music is as diverse in sound as his background. Highly influenced by the Latin bugaloo of the 60’s, along with Black doo-wop, Bataan formed his first band, Joe Bataan and the Latin Swingers. His first album came in 1967, titled Gypsy Woman, and established him as the standout vocalist of the Latin music scene of the times. The impressively industrious Bataan would release eight more soulful, funkily salsa-centric albums between ’68 and ’72, with Subway Joe, Riot!, Poor Boy, Singin’ Some Soul, Mr. New York & The East Side Kids, Sweet Soul, Saint Latin’s Day Massacre and Live From San Frantasia. In 1973 he would switch labels; this coincided with his crafting of a new form of music called “salsoul,” a delicious mix of salsa and soul. The albums featuring this new sound include Salsoul, Afro-Filipino, Mestizo and Bataan II. During this time, came his 1979 hit single “Rap-O Clap-O,” a rousing precursor to hip hop. After this, Bataan took a break from performing and recording, focusing on his family and generous community efforts. He returned briefly with 1997’s Last Album, Last Song, and then fully reemerged on this scene with 2004’s Call My Name and Young, Gifted & Brown: Joe’s Sweetest Soul Singin’. Cementing his role as the King of Latin Soul, Bataan released this eponymous album in 2009. As of late, Bataan has been collaborating with Parisian artists, notably on the famed track “My Rainbow,” as he continues to reinvent the sounds of Latin salsa, soul and beyond.
Brooklyn resident Felix Hernandez is a college radio-show host turned all-star DJ event and mega concert producer. He launched his career while still at school in the 80’s, with the creation of an independently produced radio series named BluesStage, which was so wildly popular, that NPR picked it up for a six-year run, with a whopping 200+ station distribution. The show gave a platform for both established and nascent R&B and rock artists to deliver live performances, to an ever-widening fan base. By 1986, Felix had carved out such a name for himself in the business, that he was invited to join WBGO in developing the now-famous classic soul & dance program Rhythm Revue. As the show took off to stratospheric heights, it would go on to air on New York’s WBLS, WRKS (“Kiss-FM”), WTJM (Jammin’ 105) and Sirius/XM. Rhythm Revue would metamorphose into a legendary live dance party, held at some of NYC’s most notable clubs. Now an indelible name in the world of party-throwing and concert crafting, Hernandez continues to coordinate acts that light up NYC’s premiere stages, and personally DJ some of the most exalted fests in the metropolitan area.