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Music Library Thematic Displays: Hispanic Heritage Month

This guide showcases resources from the George F. DeVine Music Library centered on specific themes. Selected themes reflect UT School of Music events and programs, as well as cultural celebrations.

About Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates and recognizes the contributions Hispanic Americans have made to American society and culture and honors five of our Central American neighbors who celebrate their independence in September (National Hispanic Heritage Month, 2020).

President Lyndon Johnson issued the first law to celebrate Hispanic Americans and the anniversaries of independence for the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua as well as Mexico’s independence on September 16 (National Hispanic Heritage Month).

In 1987 U.S. Representative Esteban E. Torres of California proposed the observance be expanded to cover its current 31-day period. Torres wanted more time so that the nation could “properly observe and coordinate events and activities to celebrate Hispanic culture and achievement" (


1. National Hispanic Heritage Month | Law Library of Congress. (2020, July 24). Library of Congress.

2. Editors. (2020, September 16). Hispanic Heritage Month. HISTORY.

Hispanic Americans

Hispanic Peoples in the US and Knoxville

  • 55 million Hispanic Americans (18% of total population) live in the US
  • 95% of Hispanic Americans live in Urban Areas (Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City)
  • Close to 10,000 Hispanic People living in Knoxville

21st Annual HoLa Festival Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrate at World’s Fair Park on September 25th at 4-10pm (Fireworks at 9pm) for Fiesta Latina! Also, on September 26th 11am-6pm. Come and experience live music and performances, home cooked food and cold drinks, crafts, Parade of Nations, 20+ Hispanic heritage booths and educational children’s activities, and community resources. Donations are accepted at admissions.

Selena Quintanilla

Selena Quintanilla (1971-1995)

Selena was known as the Star of Tejano Style of Hispanic popular music. Tejano is a highly rhythmic form of music that combines European and traditional musical styles from Mexico. Selena was named female vocalist of the year at the 1986 Tejano Music Awards and continued to win for the next 11 years. At the 1993 Grammy Music Awards, Best Mexican American Album was awarded to Selena Live. This year, Selena will be awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for all she accomplished before her untimely death.


Discover Music from Latin America Album Art

Books in the Collection!

Music Online Database

Latin Jazz

Latin Jazz has a wide and diverse range of musical influences dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and can be traced all across Latin America. The subgenre still holds a strong presence, with notable festivals happening in New York (the El Barrio Latin Jazz Festival), Havana, Cuba (the Havana Jazz Festival), and Chicago (the Chicago Latin Jazz Festival), just to name a few.

Daniel Catán

Daniel Catán was a Mexican composer of the late 20th century and early 2000’s. First educated in England and eventually a graduate of Princeton, Catán studied composition with Milton Babbitt, James K. Randall, and Benjamin Boretz. After completing his studies he returned to his birthplace of Mexico City where he taught at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. He’s particularly remembered for his operas, which paved the way for Spanish language vocal works both in the United States and abroad. His final opera, Meet John Doe, was left unfinished with his death in April 2011. Beyond opera, Catán wrote for Film, Television, the Ballet, solos, and ensembles as well. More on Catán can be found from our sources here in the music library or at his website.

Image: Daniel Catán photograph
Image source: Houston Public Media


Florencia en el Amazonas (1996)

Florencia en el Amazonas is Daniel Catán’s third Opera, inspired by the style of Gabriel García Márquez, author of Love in the Time of Cholera.

It was the first opera in Spanish to be commissioned by a company in the United States. It was commissioned by Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Seattle Opera and was premiered at the Houston Grand Opera on October 25, 1996.

Image: Florida Grand Opera's 2018 Performance of Florencia en el Amazonas
From Florida Grand Opera’s Performance - 2018
By Florida Grand Opera - Flickr, CC BY 2.0,

Online Databases