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Secreto a voces: Excess, Vocality and Joteria in the Performance of Juan Gabriel

Thursday Sep 10, 2015

UNM Zimmerman Library
800 Yale Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

Join the UNM College of Fine Arts and the UNM Latin American & Iberian Institute for a special presentation with noted ethnomusicologist Dr. Alejandro Madrid.

Juan Gabriel is arguably the most successful Mexican singer, songwriter, and producer of the last decades of the twentieth century. One could begin measuring his success through the numerous Billboard, Grammy, Latin Grammy, and MTV awards, and more than 1500 Golden, Platinum, and Multi-Platinum Records. The excesses one witnesses in Juan Gabriel's commercial success are analogous to the stylistic excesses one observes in his vocality and the performance of his musical persona. This paper focuses on these excesses and examines them in relation to mainstream ideas about masculinity in Mexico and Latin America. Relating Juan Gabriel's symbolic excess in performance to the Marxist idea of surplus, this paper takes the singer's vocality as a case study to theorize the notion of jotería as a libidinal economy of excesses that puts in evidence the contradictions, silences, and absences of the Mexican and Latin American heteronormative fantasies.

Dr. Alejandro L. Madrid received his PhD in musicology and comparative cultural studies from the Ohio State University. His research focuses on the intersection of modernity, tradition, and globalization in music, dance, and expressive culture from Mexico, the U.S.-Mexico border, the Circum-Caribbean, and among Latinos in the U.S. Madrid's publications have received numerous awards; among others, the Robert M. Stevenson and Ruth A. Solie awards from the AMS, the Béla Bartók Award from the ASCAP Foundation, the Woody Guthrie Award from IASPM, and the Premio Casa de las Américas. Currently, he is associate professor of ethnomusicology at Cornell University. For more information, please visit

Meet in the Zimmerman Library Waters Room


    University of New Mexico
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