Latin Roots

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Latin Roots

David Dye Latin Roots is a bi-weekly series on the World Cafe program, hosted by David Dye, and made possible by the Wyncote Foundation. In this new series, David Dye explores the vast variety of music from Spanish-speaking countries and people. From the standards like cumbia, mambo and son to Latin rock and even reggaeton, we'll hear it all.

The series airs every other Thursday during the second hour of the World Cafe program, and will delve into the musical styles and genres of Spanish influence with a rotating series of guests. With each segment, David Dye and his guest will explore two related songs, current and old, and discuss their unique characteristics, how they relate and where they fit into the spectrum of Latin music.
Latin Roots: Nueva Trova from Cuba Transcends It’s State-Supported Origins April 10, 2014 - Producer Aaron Levinson is back with a new Latin Roots segment on Nueva Trova, a style of music that started in Castro's Cuba in the 1960's but continues today. It started as a political music celebrating the ideals of the revolution but the music lives on, not just in Cuba but abroad.
Latin Roots –Rachael Faro on Uruguay’s Candombe On Thursday's installment of World Cafe's Latin Roots series, music producer and singer-songwriter Rachel Faro discusses an Afro-Uruguayan style of Latin music called Candombe. Separated by a river from Argentina and nestled next to southern Brazil, Uruguay experienced the same influx of African slaves as Brazil, which resulted in a similar but often overlooked musical impact. Played on sets of three drums, Candombe is highly rhythmic; it's been…
Fortunately there was a great choice for our Sense of Place: Austin Latin Roots segment. It is Grupo Fantasma a 9 piece Latin band that formed in 2000.
Our very popular Latin Roots series continues today as producer Aaron Levinson joins us to talk about what he says is often referred to as "Puerto Rican Hillbilly Music." It's called jibaro and it is music that originated in the Puerto Rican countryside. Although the island is getting more and more urbanized, Aaron says jibaro still has its proponents. We will hear a couple of songs.
Josh begins by talking about how the first South American rock bands of the 50s and 60s were all cover bands, often singing in English. The covers that come out now are more Latinized and musically interesting in his opinion. The first song he plays is his favorite cover from last year by a Mexican band called Los Master Plus. They first broke out with a cumbia version of Kings of Leon's "Sex on Fire",…
Josh Norek talks about bilingual Latin rock tracks. Starting off, Josh plays the Santana track "No One To Depend On" and discusses its call and response nature, both musically and lyrically. Moving into the present, Josh spotlights the American pop punk band Los Abandoned.
It's time once again for Latin Roots, our ongoing series highlighting different genres of Latin music. Today Catalina Maria Johnson from Chicago Public Radio's Beat Latino joins us to discuss Judeo-Iberian music or Ladino. This music goes back over 500 years and represents a dying tradition and a dying language. As Catalina tells us in many way it's the music that is keeping the language alive, often in the form of lullabies.
For our first Latin Roots of the new year Catalina Maris Johnson, the host of Latin Beat in Chicago, is back to explore Latin Psychedelia. Or, as she indicates it is sometimes less colorfully called, neo-tropical, jungle cumbia. The music comes from Peru and elsewhere in South America and you may be surprised to hear she has some examples from back-in-the-day to go with some more contemporary ones. A trippy segment! Check out her Spotify…
A Puerto Rican Christmas At Home And In New York December 25, 2013 - Artist, record producer and consultant Rachel Faro joins us on Latin Roots today to talk about Christmas in Puerto Rico and in the Puerto Rican communities in New York. She jokingly says that Christmas in Puerto Rico is 25% of the year with much partying and caroling. She’ll play us a Willie Colon classic that brings traditional music from the island…
Judy Cantor-Navas On Cuban Musical Christmas Traditions December 24, 2013 - It’s the first of two special Latin Roots Christmas segments this year today with Judy Cantor-Navas, an editor with Billboard Magazine with an extensive knowledge of Latin music. She’ll talk about the distinction between Christmas music before and after the Cuban Revolution taking into account the political changes. She has also provided us with a Spotify playlist to continue the celebration. Latin Roots is…
A special Latin Roots today with La Santa Cecilia in concert as part of our Latin Roots Live series. This set with the popular Los Angeles based Mexican-American band was recorded at World Cafe Live Upstairs in Philadelphia. December 12, 2013 - The band, named after the patron saint of musicians, started playing on the streets in LA and released their self-titled debut EP in 2009.
Latin Roots Judy Cantor-Navas Whets Your Thanksgiving Appetite With Songs About Food For The Holiday November 28, 2013 - This is a special Latin Roots for Thanksgiving today with Judy Cantor-Navas, editor at Billboard Magazine, playing some of her favorite tropical songs about food.
Rachel Faro Takes Us To Uruguay For The African Influenced Style Candombe Record producer and recording artist Rachel Faro returns to Latin Roots to discuss a musical style from the sometimes overlooked country of Uruguay. Separated by a river from Argentina and nestled next to southern Brazil, Uruguay had the same influx of African slaves as Brazil with a similar musical results. In Uruguay the Afro-Uruguayan form is Candombe.
Latin Roots Jasmine Garsd With Some Spooky Legends For The Day Of The Dead October 31, 2013 - In the Latin world the big celebration this time of year is for The Day of The Dead, not Halloween. Jasmine Garsd of NPR ‘s Alt.Latino explains in our Latin Roots segment that The Day Of The Dead is far more a day of remembrance than anything scary.
Latin Roots: Aaron Levinson Highlights Little Known Style Choro Choro is yet another style of Brazilian music that is hybrid of European and African Influences. It started in the 19th century as the Portuguese flooded into Rio. Aaron Levinson is here to play a couple of examples for us. One from the mid-40’s has a kind of “Hot Club of France” jazz feel. The more modern example is actually from Israel where bands are keeping…
Latin Roots – The Evolution of Cuba’s Charanga Music Originally evolving out of the more formal 19th century style danzon, things changed for charanga music in the 1930’s as we will hear with a transformative piece by the legendary Cachao. It’s interesting that this very Cuban form has been kept alive since the early days of the Cuban revolution – when there were few places to play on the island – by Puerto Rican musicians…
It’s time for another Latin Roots today as Ernesto Lechner, co-host of The Latin Alternative radio show, is here to talk about a very romantic style of Latin music, balada. Ernesto will play us a couple of examples of the style starting in the late 1960’s when a lot of authentic balada drew from jazz and even bossa nova. We’ll also hear a modern rendition from Babasonicos from Argentina.
Ernesto Lechner talks about his favorite singer, Joe Arroyo, an influential Columbian musician. He began singing at the age of 10 in the whorehouses of Cartagena. He was discovered by Fruko when he was a teenager and joined Fruko's band, Fruko Y Sus Tesos. In the 1980s, Arroyo pursued a solo career. He established a unique tropical sound called "Joeson" ("Joe's sound") that mixes salsa, calypso, zouk, compas, meringue, cumbia, and Columbian folklore.
When Catalina Maria Johnson told us she wanted to highlight the “coastal music “of Colombia we didn’t even consider that there would be two parts to that because there are two coasts! Today we look at the music of Colombia’s Caribbean coast with a couple of selections that indicate the isolation of African slaves on either coast.
The Pacific Coast with Catalina Maria Johnson August 8, 2013 - Today we hear music from the Pacific coast which is dominated by marimba. Colombia has a large Afro Colombian population, up to 80% of the country is of African descent. Our Latin Roots guest today, Catalina Maria Johnson, from the Chicago based program Beat Latino, plays music from the coastal areas where that population is concentrated. It turns out that geography plays a major…
Another live session for Latin Roots as we travel to Fidel Nadal’s home studio in Buenos Aires for a session with a man who owns his genre: Argentine Reggae.
On our recent World Cafe Travel Adventure to Buenos Aires we learned one thing right away: Argentineans may be known for tango, but really, they like to rock! We were invited to the home studio of Catupecu Machu, one of Argentina's most popular bands.
We welcome back Judy Cantor-Navas, Managing Editor of Billboard En Espanol for this Latin Roots segment on flamenco. Much about the origins of this music is contested. Yes, it is now strongly associated with Spain but some say its beginnings actually stretch back to India. It is also strongly associated with the Spanish city of Sevilla but Judy tells us that is also contested.
It didn't just develop, it exploded in popularity through the 90's. Post-Revolution, after training in jazz and classical conservatories, many Cuban musicians were looking for something new that would challenge their skills. Timba developed as a music combining Rumba with other dance music including even funk.
The a cappella style has a sense of urgency, like a physiological necessity for those who sing it. A naked person walks into a fancy gala. In a world of overproduced, painstakingly packaged and perfectly polished music, that's what it's like to hear Canto Cardenche — a completely a cappella style of Mexican music — for the first time.
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Latin Roots is made possible by a grant from the Wyncote Foundation.

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