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Latino artists & Arizona: to play or no play?

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 A veteran Latino act is joining an artistic boycott of Arizona over the passage of SB1070 while another is criticizing the strategy and keeping announced dates in the state.

Roots-rock band Los Lobos announced it was cancelling a June 10 concert at The Talking Stick Resort of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, in Scottsdale.

   "We support the boycott of Arizona," the group said in a released statement. "The new law will inevitably lead to unfair racial profiling and possible abuse of people who just happen to look Latino. As a result, in good conscience, we could not see ourselves performing in Arizona."

   With the cancellation, Los Lobos join a growing list of artists that include such high-profile names as Juanes, Calle 13 and Los Tigres del Norte, who refuse to perform in Arizona because of the law that goes into effect in July. SB1070 will require local police to check on immigration status when they stop an individual they suspect to be in the country illegally.

   But another veteran rocker, Spanish singer Enrique Bunbury, believes that a better way to defeat the new Arizona law is to speak out against in on the state’s stages. Bunbury recently told AP that he expects to keep dates this summer in Phoenix and Tucson, as part of his current U.S. tour.

   "I think it’s a mistake… the boycott is giving in to them," he said in a  Spanish-language interview.

   A younger artist who shares his view is hip-hop singer Mexia, who also told AP, "I’m against the state but not its people."

   This week Mexia is releasing the single Todos somos Arizona, in which he raps his sentiments on the danger of SB 1070, a tune he expects to perform in Arizona. Ironically, he is the son of of Hernán Hernández, the vocalist of Los Tigres del Norte.

   (Antonio Mejías-Rentas, a native of Ponce, Puerto Rico, has been covering the Hispanic entertainment scene for three decades for Hispanic Link and other publications. He is now an editor with La Opinión of Angeles, the nation’s largest Spanish-language daily newspaper.)

   ©2010

 

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