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Jamaica Plain mural celebrates Afro-Latino artists

Jamaica Plain mural celebrates Afro-Latino artists
Jamaica Plain mural celebrates Afro-Latino artists 02:28

JAMAICA PLAIN - From colorful smiles to beautiful expressions of dance and music, a mural at Mozart Park in Jamaica Plain pays tribute to pioneers of Afro-Latino artists. 

The mastermind behind the 160-foot long mural is Jamaica Plain resident and community artist, Roberto Chao. 

"I see myself like a director of an orchestra. Sometimes I have five people, eight or ten," Chao said. "These walls are my child. This is a culmination of my career," he smiled.

Chao says the mural tells the story and history of Afro-Latino music. 

"Everything is coming from Africa," he said.

The mural, which took months to create, includes soul, and jazz.

"It's also dancing, it's not only music," Chao said  

Announcer and producer of WBUR Radio & Puerto Rican community activist Luis C. Masso III is one of the featured artists on the mural. 

"It's American music but really the music that starts in Africa and Hyde Square Task Force which are stewards of the Latin Quarter here in Jamaica Plain. Their whole purpose is to uplift African descendants in particular Afro-Latinos and so they wanted to depict how this music has evolved from Africa to where it is today," Masso said. 

Masso, who also serves on the Boston Public Library Board of trustees, was honored by the MFA at LatinX Heritage Night for his work in the community. 

"The fact that they would include me as being the voice, if you will, of our culture through radio and whatnot is quite an honor," he said. 

The mural was created by 25 people from the community, and it features 41 different artists, all who played a significant role in Afro-Latin Music and dance culture.

"It's a way of us celebrating who we are. Celebrating our history, our tradition and culture and our presence in the city of Boston," Masso said.

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