Aside from Elena and Beatriz, who inspired this entire project, I’d like to
thank Pablo Vila for his support and input throughout the journey. Due to
personal circumstances, this was not an easy ride, but Pablo managed every-
thing quite gracefully. Special thanks go to the Center for Latin American and
Latino/a Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia State Univer-
sity for their solid assistance and encouragement. In addition, special credit
goes to my son, Sebastián, and my sisters in Miami and Bogotá during a chal-
lenging period of my life. Last but not least, a big shout- out goes to Liliana
Saumet, who reminds me daily how important music can be.
First of all, I have to thank Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste for inviting me to par-
ticipate in this wonderful project. It was a very generous offer that I really ap-
preciate. Numerous people helped to make this book possible. Special thanks
go to Malvina Silba, not only for her outstanding fieldwork in the bailes and
her superb interviews in the neighborhoods but also for the intense dialogue
we have maintained over the years, which helped me to better understand
the complex world of Argentine cumbia. Finally, I must acknowledge my chil-
dren, Juanchi, Paloma, and Malena, and my wife, Julia Chindemi Vila, for all
their support.
Our gratitude goes to the staff at Duke University Press. Four anonymous
reviewers offered important criticisms that greatly improved the final prod-
uct. Valerie Millholland and Gisela Fosado, handling our numerous doubts
and inquiries pertaining to the text, and Judith Hoover, who copyedited the
manuscript, were a pleasure to work with. Their dedicated efforts are greatly
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