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World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

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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.

This installment of the Latin Roots Series explores Bossa Nova music, guided by Latin music expert, Ernesto Lechner. Lechner grew up in Buenos Aires where his parents' record collection consisted of classical records and a solitary Bossa Nova LP. He later immigrated to Los Angeles where he was immersed in Latin music and subsequently became a music journalist and published several books on Latin music.

Today is the last day to see the National Constitution Center's interactive 1968 Exhibit", about one of the most intense, eventful, important and tumultuous years in 20th century history. It was a year when Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix were high on the music charts and on drugs, and when Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders soared "Eight Miles High" into space to become the first humans to travel to the moon and back on Apollo 8. In 1968 television brought the Vietnam War home to America on the nightly news and revealed the war at home as protests against the war increased and activists clashed with police on the streets of Chicago outside the Democratic National Convention.

The Colonial Theater in Phoenixville, today starts a film series starring actors who "usually play nice guys but who are cast in these movies as despicable human beings." In A Face In The Crowd, Andy Griffith's film debut, the man America loved as TV's small town sheriff Andy Taylor on Mayberry R.F.D. plays Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes, a small town drunk, drifter and country musician who rises to fame and influence on national television.

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.

On this seventh segment of the Latin Roots Music Series, Josh Norek is back. The co-host and executive producer of The Latin Alternative - a one hour radio show of Latin funk, hip-hop, and electronica - (http://www.facebook.com/TheLatinAlternative) is in the studio to lay down some Latin funk beats and describe the origins of this genre. Norek is also a musician, producer, and journalist who currently works for the Latin indie label Nacional Records as VP of Business Affairs & Digital Relations.

On this sixth segment of the Latin Roots music series, the co-host and executive producer of The Latin Alternative - a one hour radio show of Latin funk, hip-hop, and electronica - is in the studio to introduce Latin hip hop. Josh Norek is also a musician, producer, and journalist who currently works for the Latin indie label Nacional Records as VP of Business Affairs & Digital Relations.

Tom Moon looks at tumbao - what the pianst does, and muntuno - the beat that the other musicians play. Montuno is a kind of syncopated piano vamp often used in traditional Cuban music. A 'vamp' is a repetitive musical accompaniment or phrase, often found in jazz, gospel, and soul. A 'vamp' is to those genres as a 'riff' is to rock music or a 'loop' is to hip hop. The literal translation of montuno is 'from the mountains', and it is often at the heart of Cuban dance music, giving piano players a range of harmonizing phrases to use.

Explore the roots of Afro-Peruvian music with Novalima in this segment of Latin Roots from World Cafe. Originating in coastal Peru and comprised of contributions from African, Spanish, and South American cultures, festejo takes its name from 'fiesta', the Spanish word for festival. It is often accompanied by a competitive and lively dancing, as well as call-and-response vocals, a celebration put to music and tied to historical roots. In this interview, David Dye talks with Novalima members Grimaldo Del Solar (arranger, artwork, composer, programming) and Alfonso Montesinos (bass) about this 100-year-old style of festejo, and the several different forms it can take through varying rhythms. Festejo has influenced their live improvisations, and inspired Novalima to become less like a studio project and more spontaneous.

This session of Latin Roots is devoted to all things "clave." Music journalist Tom Moon sat down with our host, David Dye, to discuss the history of clave in Latin Music. Clave, which means code or key, functions as such rhythmically. Tom Moon explains how clave was introduced to Cuba and how it played into different trends and movements within Cuban music. Moon walks us through the Cuban standard, "Bruca Manigua," and the unexpected return to clave in Luis Enrique's "Yo No Se Manana." He also discusses how clave has been incorporated into music outside of the Latin world- from Johnny Otis to Bruce Springsteen.

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