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Eight celebrates Hispanic and Latino American heritage

September 16, 2010

From Cy Young Award-winners to Grammy Award-winners, Eight, Arizona PBS celebrates the history, heritage and cultural contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Latin Music USA
“The Chicano Wave/Divas and Superstars”
9:30 p.m.
, Sept. 17
From Latin jazz and mambo to salsa, Tejano, Chicano rock, Latin pop and reggaeton, Latin Music USA 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.
In this episode: Learn how music played an important role in the struggle for Chicano civil rights and the impact of the Latin pop explosion at the turn of the 21st century.
Watch the trailer

American Masters
“Cachao: Uno Mas”
9 p.m., Sept. 20
American Masters takes a fascinating look at the Grammy-winning bassist Israel “Cachao” Lopez, who died in March 2008 in Coral Gables, Florida. The film is produced and narrated by friend and ardent fan, actor Andy Garcia, who helped reinvigorate Cachao’s career in the 1990s. A maestro of legendary status on the world stage, Cachao is considered one of the greatest Afro-Cuban musicians of all time. Together with his brother Orestes, he revolutionized the heart of Cuban music — literally inventing the mambo. Their spontaneous improvisations and innovations established the basis for, and the influence of, contemporary Latin jazz and salsa, rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues.
Watch the trailer

“Special Circumstances”
11 p.m., Sept. 22
At 16, Héctor Salgado endured arrest and torture by Pinochet's forces. By 20, Héctor was living in exile in the U.S., the very place whose foreign policies in Chile contributed to the death and torture of thousands of Chileans. The documentary follows Salgado as he returns to Chile almost 30 years later, camera in hand, to confront the perpetrators and his former captors and looking for answers and justice. In the process, Special Circumstances takes an unflinching look at U.S. foreign policy in Latin America in the 1970s and the legacy of the dictatorship in Chile.
“Celia the Queen”
9:30 p.m.
, Sept. 24
This documentary explores the life and legacy of a woman whose voice symbolized the soul of a nation and captured the hearts of fans worldwide. Erupting onto the Cuban music scene as the lead singer for La Sonora Matancera, Celia Cruz broke down barriers of racism and sexism. This film shows the diversity of the people whose lives she touched, from stars such as Quincy Jones, Andy Garcia, and Wyclef Jean, to ordinary people all over the world. The story traces Celia’s exile from her beloved Cuba until her death in 2003.

“Tito Puente: The King of Latin Music”

10:30 p.m., Sept. 24

Bill Cosby, Marc Anthony, Geraldo Rivera, Jimmy Smits, Paquito D’Rivera and other family, friends and colleagues pay homage to the late mambo and Latin jazz legend Tito Puente. Archival footage, interviews and excerpts from one of Puente’s last concerts piece together the life of the popular bandleader, percussionist and composer.

Nature “Cuba: The Accidental Eden”
8 p.m., Sept. 26

This small island’s varied landscape, its location in the heart of the Caribbean and its longstanding place at the center of Cold War politics have all combined to preserve some of the richest and most unusual natural environments of the hemisphere. For decades, Cuba’s wild landscapes lay untouched while its Caribbean neighbors poisoned or paved over their ecological riches. Now, Cuba’s priceless treasures are about to face an onslaught. Tourism is already on the rise and most experts predict tourism will double once the U.S. trade embargo ends. What will happen to Cuba’s stunning biodiversity — an island filled with amphibians, reptiles and the most biologically diverse freshwater fish in the region?
Watch the trailer

When Worlds Collide
9 p.m., Sept. 27
When Worlds Collide, from filmmaker Carl Byker (Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil and the Presidency) and hosted by award-winning author and journalist Rubén Martínez, presents a vivid exploration of the first century after the “Old World” encountered the “New World.”  Written by Martínez and Byker, this 90-minute documentary illuminates the origins of today’s Latino culture through the largely untold story of the Americas after Columbus. The journey begins on the streets of Los Angeles in 2010 and travels to Spain and Latin America, where contact first occurred between Spanish conquistadors and native peoples. This epic odyssey traces the impact that these and many other “New World” innovations had on the “Old World” during an era almost always described as “the conquest.” In reality, the most important consequence of the era was the radical change that both worlds experienced, resulting in an entirely new “mestizo” or mixed culture, an important part of the heritage of more than 30 million Latinos in the U.S. today. 
Watch the trailer                                        

From Curandera to Chupacabra: The Stories of Rudolfo Anaya
10:30 p.m., Sept. 27
The “grandfather of Chicano literature” introduced readers to the landscape and characters of New Mexico. This documentary features passages from Anaya’s work, including his first novel, Bless Me, Ultima.

Baseball: The Tenth Inning
8 p.m., Sept. 28 and 29
Thousands of bats, three home run records and one "curse" have been broken since Ken Burns last explored the history of America's national pastime with his landmark 1994 PBS series Baseball. Now, Burns and co-director Lynn Novick update the series with The Tenth Inning. Beginning with a crippling strike that alienated millions of fans and brought the game to the brink, this new film tells the tumultuous story of our national pastime up to the present. It celebrates baseball's new Golden Age - an era of unprecedented home run totals, popularity and prosperity - and sheds light on one of the game's darkest chapters - the steroid era.

Baseball: The Tenth Inning
“Top of the Tenth”

8 p.m., September 28
In 1994, the national pastime faces its worst crisis in 70 years when a bitter and prolonged strike forces the cancellation of the World Series, infuriating fans dismayed by the athletes and teams they once worshipped. Dazzlingly talented Latino players make an indelible mark on the game. Bulked up sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa captivate the nation as they chase Roger Maris' single season home run record. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, more and more players are making life-altering decisions about how far they are willing to go to succeed.

Baseball: The Tenth Inning
“Bottom of the Tenth”

8 p.m., Sept. 29
In the first decade of the 21st century, baseball is booming. In an age of home runs and power, Pedro Martinez and a handful of other superb pitchers still manage to dominate. The astonishingly talented right fielder Ichiro Suzuki becomes MLB's first Japanese position player and a hero back home. As America reels from the horror of the 9/11 attacks, baseball provides solace, and in an incredible World Series, gives the country something to cheer about. As the rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox reaches the boiling point, long-suffering Boston fans rejoice in their first World Series victory in 86 years, while Giants and Cubs fans endure devastating losses. Barry Bonds demolishes Mark McGwire's home-run record and sets his sights on Henry Aaron's revered all time mark. The game is more popular than ever, but revelations about steroids cast a shadow on many of the era's greatest stars and their historic accomplishments.

About Eight, Arizona PBS
Eight, Arizona PBS specializes in the education of children, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture — utilizing the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach services, and community-based initiatives. The PBS station began broadcasting from the campus of Arizona State University on January 30, 1961. Now more than 80 percent of Arizonans receive the signal through a network of translators, cable and satellite systems. With more than 1 million viewers each week, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. Arizonans provide more than 60 percent of the station’s annual budget. For more information, visit

Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.