Two-part film series explores history of ‘Chicano Rock’

Hispanic rock ‘n’ roll will be highlighted in the screening of two films in early October at J.E. and L.E. Mabee Library sponsored by the Hispanic Heritage Month Committee.

From 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, in the Special Collections Room on the library’s second floor, viewers can see “Chicano Rock!,” a critically acclaimed film. From 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, viewers can listen to commentary on the film followed by a presentation based on original research by Jaime López, a McNair Scholar, titled, “Corridos de Soul: The Roots of Chicano Soul in San Antonio.”

The Chemistry Club will provide refreshments.

The film series is “designed to tantalize the ear and illuminate our awareness of rock ‘n’ roll, Chicano style,” said Dr. Héctor Pérez, an associate professor of English who serves on the Hispanic Heritage Month Committee along with Dr. Rafael Adrian, an assistant professor of Chemistry; Javier F. Altamirano, an instructor of nursing; and Dr. Kate Edelman, an assistant professor of Chemistry.

Photo of the band Renegade in concert
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“Most people living in or visiting San Antonio know the mariachi sound quite well,” Pérez said. “Many have sat alongside restaurant patrons who just had to belt out a rendition of ‘Y volver, volver, vo-olve-e-e-r. . .!’ Further,  many of us know all too well the peppy, catchy sounds and beat  of conjunto. What isn’t as well-known is that many young Mexican-Americans — Chicanos and Chicanas — tried their hand, and their vocal chords, at good ol’ American rock’-‘n’-roll. We might know the Grammy-winning sounds of Los Lobos and even Los Lonely Boys but many don’t remember the sounds of Cannibal and the Headhunters, with the “Na, NaNaNa” introduced on the American Bandstand TV show. That band toured with the Beatles, quite a notable accomplishment.  Many young Mexican-Americans, Chicanos and Chicanas, continue to create  the wonderful sounds of rock ‘n’ roll, to the extent that rock ‘n’ roll has morphed into a variety of musical sounds, and they do so with significant success.”

For more information, call Pérez  at (210) 829-3166, or e-mail him at

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