MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Memphis is known for its diversity and a big part of that is the growing Hispanic American or Latinx community. These days, Mid-Southerners are learning about their many contributions by listening to a new radio show.
Inside Crosstown Concourse, the WYXR Memphis 91.7 logo proudly states “Raised By Sound”.
The ‘sound’ and new radio show emanating from this studio every Saturday night at 8 p.m. is called “La Hora de Sazon” or in English, it means seasoning time.
Behind the mic and adding her blend of musical seasoning is education professional and Latinx community leader Talia Palacio.
“I feel as if life has taken me everywhere from teaching to education to Higher Ed and now one of my special projects and one of my passion projects is hosting La Hora del Sazon on 91.7 FM,” Palacio said.
The music is inspired by her upbringing as a Panamanian American in Memphis and she tells the stories behind classic songs from Central and South American musicians.
“I wanted to share the opportunity with the community and share my experiences growing up bilingual with our 901 and now I’m sharing music that I love and also inviting my friends on the show to share their experiences to educate our community as well about multiculturalism,” Palacio said.
On Saturday night, one of her guests was Edgar Mendez, the founder of Rumba Room, a Salsa and Latin dance club on South Main Street.
Mendez was born in Guatemala and came to Memphis in 2004 to open the Rumba Room.
“The Rumba Room is the only place you’ll see different cultures who don’t speak Spanish at all, but they just enjoy the music, and they get so into it,” he said.
Stories like those are told in this hour-long program that’s been on the air since September 2021 and showcases diverse musical sounds.
“I love the old school Salsa, the old school Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, and one of my favorite all-time is Hector Lavoe,” Palacio said.
The show also reflects the diversity of the Latinx, Latino or Hispanic community in Memphis and those doing extraordinary things in the 901 such as the Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre Group.
“When we do not just play, but also special events we try to focus and do that and show how diverse we are at Latinos, but also say to the community come and enjoy,” said Monica Sanchez, Artist Director with Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre. “This is also for you. You have to learn about us. The more you learn about your neighbors, the less afraid you’re going to be and the stronger we’re going to make our community,”
From dance to music and to Latinx history, Hispanic Heritage isn’t just celebrated for only one month, but throughout the year and on the airwaves at WYXR.
“Whether you are Latino, Hispanic, Latinx…whatever term you identify with, Afro-Latino, we want to make sure our community feels seen and heard and it’s a time where individuals in the community can ask, tell me about your culture. I want to learn more,” Palacio said.