PBS Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15, 2009, and Beyond

Posted by PBS Publicity on

Hispanic Heritage Month 2009 (September 15-October 15) is coming up, and PBS is celebrating with a great lineup of programs that entertain while examining the history, heritage and cultural contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans.

A highlight of PBS’ Hispanic Heritage Month programming is LATIN MUSIC USA. From Latin jazz and mambo to salsa, Tejano, Chicano rock, Latin pop and reggaeton, the four-hour series tells the story of the rise of new American music forged from powerful Latin roots and reveals the often overlooked influence of Latin music on jazz, hip hop, rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll — and on all of American culture. It’s a fresh take on America’s musical history, reaching across time and across musical genres to embrace the exciting hybrid sounds created by Latinos, musical fusions that have deeply enriched popular music in the U.S. over more than five decades. Jimmy Smits narrates. LATIN MUSIC USA airs Mondays, October 12-19, 9-11 p.m. ET on PBS, and also airs on V-me, the national Spanish TV network, on Tuesdays, October 13-20, 10 p.m.-12 a.m. ET.

Other highlights include GREAT PERFORMANCES “Los Angeles Philharmonic Opening Gala With Gustavo Dudamel” and fascinating documentaries, including a look at Argentina’s troubled past (INDEPENDENT LENS “Our Disappeared/Nuestros Desaparecidos”).

PBS’ celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month extends beyond the broadcast and onto pbs.org. PBS’ video player (pbs.org/video) — where viewers can watch hours of free PBS programming online and on their own time — features an extensive lineup of programs honoring and exploring Latino culture in “Nuestras Historias | Our Stories, a special Hispanic Heritage Month collection that will feature LATIN MUSIC USA, POV “Ella Es el Matador, the short-film series “Latinos in 60 Seconds” and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “Roberto Clemente, among others. The collection launches September 10 at www.pbs.org/nuestrashistorias.

Press Preview Copies of Programs Available Upon Request

New programming airing in and around Hispanic Heritage Month on PBS

(Airdate order)

POV “Ella Es el Matador” (She Is the Matador)
Tuesday, September 1, 2009, 10-11 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS
Premieres online September 2 on pbs.org/video

Profiles of two female matadors currently in the arena: the acclaimed Mari Paz Vega and neophyte Eva Florencia. http://www.pbs.org/pov/matador/

INDEPENDENT LENS “Our Disappeared/Nuestros Desaparecidos”
Monday, September 21, 2009, 10-11:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS
Director Juan Mandelbaum returns to his native Argentina to discover what happened to friends and loved ones who “disappeared” during the 1976-1983 military dictatorships there. Terrence Howard hosts the series. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/ourdisappeared/

September 27-October 2, 2009 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS
Premieres online September 28 on pbs.org/video

Filmmaker Ken Burns explores the history and splendor of, and the public passion for, America’s national parks. Episode five “Great Nature,” airing October 1, profiles a young National Parks Service biologist named George Melendez Wright who discovered widespread abuses of animal habitats and pushed the service to reform its wildlife policies. http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/

GLOBAL VOICES “Revolucion”
September 2009 (check local listings) on PBS
This program tells the story of five Cuban photographers whose lives and work span more than four decades and whose perspectives on photography are as varied as their opinions about the Cuban Revolution. http://www.pbs.org/itvs/globalvoices/revolucion.html

Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 8-10 p.m. ET on PBS
Premieres online October 8 on pbs.org/video

The second season of the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning series, a filmed journey of the history, artists and techniques of the nation’s rich craft culture, continues the excursion into the diverse and ever-evolving world of American craft. Featured artists include Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez, the director of Boston’s North Bennet Street School, which has been training people for employment in the crafts since 1885. http://www.pbs.org/craftinamerica/

Wednesdays, October 7-28, 2009, 10-11 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS
Premieres online October 8 on pbs.org/video

Fifth season of the only television series dedicated to profiling the work of contemporary artists features 14 artists, including Columbian-born sculptor Doris Salcedo. http://www.pbs.org/art21/

Thursday, October 8, 2009, 10-11 p.m. ET on PBS
THE POWER OF THE POOR tells the story of a small group of economists who helped defeat Peru’s brutal Shining Path terrorists, pressured the government into making legal reforms that have lifted millions out of poverty and in the process became repeated targets for bombing and assassinations.

In English: Mondays, October 12-19, 2009, 9-11 p.m. ET on PBS
In Spanish: Tuesdays, October 13-20, 10 p.m.-12 a.m. ET on V-me, the national Spanish TV network
Premieres online October 13 (English) and October 14 (Spanish) on pbs.org/video

Four-part series documents the rise of American music forged from powerful Latin roots and the influence of Latin music on jazz, hip hop, rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll — and on American culture. Jimmy Smits narrates. http://www.pbs.org/latinmusicusa

GREAT PERFORMANCES “Los Angeles Philharmonic Opening Gala With Gustavo Dudamel”
Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 8-10 p.m. ET
In fall 2009, music sensation Gustavo Dudamel will become the new music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. GREAT PERFORMANCES will join the opening night festivities for his inaugural gala concert. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/

Also coming soon to PBS:

February 2009 (airdate TBD)
Using the most up-to-the-moment DNA testing and genealogical research, Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. will offer compelling investigations of the family stories and deep ancestry of individuals from a range of American ethnicities. Subjects will include Eva Longoria, Meryl Streep, Yo-Yo Ma, Stephen Colbert, Malcolm Gladwell, Mario Batali and more.

Encore presentations airing in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month on PBS
These programs air September 15-October 15 (check local listings) on PBS.

AMERICAN MASTERS “Rivera in America”
Considered the greatest Mexican painter of the 20th century, Diego Rivera continues to have a profound effect on the international art world. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/diego-rivera

AMERICAN MASTERS “Orozco: Man of Fire”
Muralist Orozco’s bold, dynamic frescoes had a profound impact on American painters and inspired FDR to put artists to work during the Great Depression. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/jose-clemente-orozco/introduction/82/

Focusing on George Lopez, this smart, fast-paced program examines how business’ efforts to profit from Latinos, this nation’s largest and fastest-growing minority group, are shaping the contemporary Latino identity. http://www.pbs.org/brownisthenewgreen/

The intense, passionate world of female mariachi. Terrence Howard hosts. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/companeras/

JUSTICE FOR MY PEOPLE tells the story of Dr. Hector P. Garcia — Mexican Revolution refugee, medical doctor to the barrios, decorated war veteran, civil rights activist and presidential confidante — as he fought to bring attention to the Mexican-American civil rights movement. http://www.pbs.org/justiceformypeople/

POV “The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez”
Watch now on pbs.org/video
Tommy Lee Jones narrates the tale of a young man mistaken for a drug runner and killed by U.S. Marines patrolling the Texas-Mexico border. http://www.pbs.org/pov/ballad/

POV “Calavera Highway”
Two Mexican-American men reunite with five brothers and try to piece together their family’s shattered history. Why was their mother cast out by her family? What happened to their father? http://www.pbs.org/pov/calaverahighway/

– PBS –

Gabriel Reyes, Reyes Entertainment, 213-483-4511; Gabriel@reyesentertainment.com

Joe Miller, PBS, 703-739-5793; jwmiller@pbs.org