Puerto Rico Is a Global Music Powerhouse

Renowned, multi-talented Puerto Rican pianist and composer Brenda Hopkins Miranda has written an article for the online magazine 80 grados in which she asks herself why Puerto Rico has not taken full advantage of its wealth of homegrown musical talent and calls for music to become one of the pilars of the country's economic development [es]. Miranda's piece was motivated by her experience during a recent visit to Costa Rica during which she was struck by the fact that the vast majority of the music being played everywhere from a jazz cafe she visited to the radios of passing cars and on television was pure Puerto Rican. Reflecting on the tremendous amount of music production in Puerto Rico, she writes the following:

Cada vez que viajo lo compruebo: la música es nuestro producto nacional. La música nos distingue. ¡Puerto Rico es música! Cuando estoy en otro país y digo que soy puertorriqueña de lo primero que me hablan usualmente es de nuestra música y nuestros artistas. Aquí lo sabemos. Por algo decimos que en Puerto Rico encuentras un músico “en cada esquina” o “debajo de cualquier piedra”. Estamos hablando de músicos de la más alta calidad. Y por supuesto no son solo nuestros músicos los que se destacan. También sobresale el talento de nuestros reconocidos ingenieros de sonido, luminotécnicos y artistas gráficos entre otros. Ya lo dije antes, el petróleo puertorriqueño es nuestro recurso humano.

Every time I travel I realize it: music is our national product. Music sets us apart. Puerto Rico is music! When I am in another country and I say I am Puerto Rican, the first thing people usually want to talk about is our music and our artists. We know this. That's why in Puerto Rico we say you can find a musician “on every corner” or “under every rock.” We are talking about musicians of the highest caliber. And it is not just our musicians that stand out. The talent of our sound engineers, lighting designers and graphic artists, among others, is also well known. I have said it before, Puerto Rico's petroleum is its people.

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