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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 #14: Mariachi Music - July 12, 2012

Chicago-based music journalist Catalina Maria Johnson hosts this fourteenth installment of World Cafe's Latin Roots music series. The bilingual and bicultural journalist is half Swedish and half Mexican and grew up in two cities both name St. Louis, one in Missouri, and the other, San Luis Potosi, Mexico. She writes in Spanish and English for publications such as HOY, Revista Contratiempo, Gozamos and Nat Geo Music. She is a regular radio personality and hosts/produces the bilingual radio program Beat Latino, which airs in Chicago, Mexico City and Berlin.

In this session, WXPN's David Dye sits down with Catalina Maria Johnson to discuss mariachi music. Johnson explains the origins of mariachi and how it started in Jalisco, Mexico in the late 1800s as an ensemble of strings and horns. She says that music is a part of every Mexican family celebration and that mariachi is a living tradition in Mexico. Today, bands mainly perform classic Mexican tunes in the mariachi ensemble style, but there is also a new movement of the younger generations mixing up traditional mariachi music non-ironically. To exhibit this transition, Johnson plays a selection of traditional and contemporary mariachi music.

  • Listen to the Show:
    listen to the archived session at
  • Show Tracks:
    • Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan
    • La Fiesta del Mariachi
    • Rana Santacruz
    • Chicavasco
    • Mariachi El Bronx
    • Lady Rosales
  • Listen to the Playlist:
  • Playlist Tracks:
    • Mariachi Reyna de los Angeles - La Mujer Mexicana y El Cascabel
    • Mexico & Mariachis - Cancion del Mariachi
    • Jose Feliciano - Cucurrucucu Paloma
    • Mariachi Mystery Tour - Magical Mystery Tour
    • Mariachi El Bronx - Lady Rosales
    • Calexico - Muleta
    • The Allstonians - Mariachi Go Ska
    • Linda Ronstadt - Dos Arbolitos (Two Little Trees)
    • Rana Santa Cruz - Loopita

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