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About Latin Roots

Latin Roots Live
The Latin Roots Live! concert series is inspired by Latin Roots, the bi-weekly radio series on World Cafe® hosted by David Dye, which explores the vast variety of music from Spanish-speaking countries and people, from cumbia, mambo and son to Latin rock, reggaeton, and more. Latin Roots on World Cafe is made possible by the Wyncote Foundation. Latin Roots Live! is produced in partnership with Afrotaino and Raices Culturales and made possible by the William Penn Foundation

Latin Roots Live!

Latin Roots Live!
Listen to Ana Tijoux’s Latin Roots Live! show from World Cafe Live. Listen to Eco Del Sur’s Latin Roots Live! show from World Cafe Live.

Latin Roots #8: The Lasting Fad Of Boogaloo - April 19, 2012

This episode of Latin Roots features Felix Contreras, co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's online music program about Latin Alternative music. Also a reporter and producer for NPR's Arts Desk, Contreras specializes in jazz, world music and Latino arts and culture. A part-time musician who plays Afro-Cuban percussion in several Latin and jazz bands, Contreras is uniquely qualified to discuss Latin Alternative music. In this episode, he speaks about boogaloo, how it developed and how it impacts Latin music today.

Contreras explains that boogaloo is considered the first Nuyorican music. It developed in the late '50s and early '60s as the result of Puerto Ricans and Cubans listening to both the folk music of their parents' generation and contemporary pop and R&B. Contreras discusses the culturally significant songs "Watermelon Man," "El Watusi" and "The Oohs." He also describes the conflicts within the Latin music community that arose from the boogaloo movement, how boogaloo faded out and how it lives on, in some ways, even today.

Hear Felix Contreras' essential boogaloo playlist on Spotify. And, listen to the session at Latin Roots, the lasting fad of boogaloo, on NPR.org/music.


Session Playlist
Mongo Santamaria, "Watermelon Man"
Joe Cuba Sextet, "Bang Bang"
Eric Bobo & Latin Bitman, "The Oohs"

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