Alexandra T. Vázquez is a researcher, writer and associate professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her work is centred on music, Caribbean aesthetics and criticism, and Latin American and US Latina studies, all of which is framed within Performance Studies.

On 14 October 2022, Vázquez visited the Museo Reina Sofía to take part in a series of master lectures in the Juan Antonio Ramírez Chair. This annual event of reflection around the historiography of art. In her lecture, To Hear What We See, she put forward a defence of music as a key component in any artistic project. Moving beyond its customary enjoyment, Vázquez points to music’s potential to activate and broaden aesthetic perception, in addition to being a vital resource for education.

This podcast spotlights the content of the lecture and includes a conversation around Vázquez’s two books published to date. The first, Listening in Detail: Performances of Cuban Music (Duke University Press, 2013), is an approach to Cuban music which evades nostalgia and encyclopaedic ambition; an attempt at new forms of listening and writing on her subject of study, and based on biography and detail. The second, The Florida Room (Duke University Press, 2022), is an invitation to become acquainted with Miami, the place from which, through music practices, some of the communities to have contributed to its history have grown: from Florida natives to migrants from southern Georgia and, of course, the Caribbean. All these communities find a place in the space which lends the book its name, an architectural device from which to render an account of the histories of memory, dispossession and survival which have habitually been reduced to obscurity and “mere” details. 

Financiado por la Unión Europea


Código copiado al portapapeles.
Rubén Coll
Maria Mallol
Produce © Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (con contenidos musicales licenciados por SGAE)

Audio quotes

  • Dafnis Prieto Si o Si Quartet. Thoughts, Dafnison Music (2009)
  • Dj Fingerz & Cutmaster Knobz. Miami, that bass so strong, Pandisc (1991)
  • Son 14. Vamos, háblame ahora, Movieplay (1979/1981)
  • Theodor Adorno / Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Op. 4: No. 6. Sehr langsam, TYXArt (2013)
  • Machito and his Afrocubans (con Graciela Pérez). Mi Cerebro, Tumbao Cuban Classics (Circa 1945-1947/1997)
  • Sam Cooke. Feel it, RCA (1963/1985)
  • Anquette. Shake It (Do the 61st), Lil’ Joe Records (1987/2000)