Rubén Blades Archives

Chronicling the life and work of the internationally prominent and popular musician, actor and politician.

Rubén Blades is an internationally prominent and popular musician, actor and politician who has won many Grammys and other awards for his Latin pop and salsa recordings.

He played a key role in the salsa music scene in New York in the 1970s, an influential period of burgeoning popularity for this musical and dance style. Blades graduated from Harvard University Law School in 1985 with a Masters degree in international law.

The predominant musical style represented in the collection is salsa, a Latin musical style that incorporates traditional and popular song forms that have originated in countries such as Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Panama and the United States, to name a few. Elements of jazz and rock are also frequently included in salsa music.

One of Blades' notable musical distinctions are his collaborations across genres with all types of musicians, including work in musical theater. Blades is also known for incorporating socio-cultural and political commentary within salsa and Latin popular music.

This collection contains periodicals and articles from the Latin American and the United States press about Blades' own music and popular Latin music in general.

It also contains ephemera, newspaper clippings, correspondence and campaign materials from Blades' bid for president of Panama in 1994.

The bulk of the privately produced recordings in the collection are live concerts, television broadcasts and interviews.

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