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The Sounds of LatinidadImmigrants Making Music and Creating Culture in a Southern City$
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Samuel K. Byrd

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479859405

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479859405.001.0001

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“Thursday Is Bakalao’s Day!”

“Thursday Is Bakalao’s Day!”

Bands at Work and Play

(p.85) 4 “Thursday Is Bakalao’s Day!”
The Sounds of Latinidad

Samuel K. Byrd

NYU Press

This chapter analyzes how musicians see their work: as freelance work, a full-time profession, a leisurely hobby, or a craft. Defining and analyzing the concept of “working musician,” it positions musicians' labor in the context of immigration and class-based views on training and professionalism. The vulnerability of musicians as immigrant laborers plays a vital part in how they approach music making and relate to fellow musicians. It shows how musicians deal with the norm of low-paying, contingent music jobs and strategize about how to best pursue lives as working musicians. The work experience of Latina/o musicians in Charlotte highlights how globalization has brought a new vibrancy that provides some (limited) avenues for economic mobility through capital flows and migration, but also promotes a labor regime that depends on contingent, flexible labor and facilitates a growing divide between rich and poor.

Keywords:   musicians, immigration, music making, globalization, economic mobility, working musician

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