Latin Roots

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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

In this 23rd installment of the Latin Roots segment, we diverge from focusing on a specific type of Latin music/ genre and instead talk about an integral and enormously popular instrument in Latin music. NPR's Alt Latino correspondent Felix Contreras is invited to discuss the history and the impact of the conga, or more properly known as the tumbadora, in Cuba and abroad. Originating from Africa, the conga became a critical instrument in Afro-Cuban religious…
Nueva Cancion ("new song") is a style born in the '60s and '70s, when many Latin countries were ruled by repressive dictators. The songs were folk-inspired, with guitar-based song forms, percussive elements and socially charged lyrics. The late Victor Jara is seen as the father of the movement, and he comes up in this conversation. Alt.Latino host Jasmine Garsd says the movement has resonated with a lot of people and brought about change — a…
We are back with another of our popular Latin Roots series. This time Felix Contreras from NPR's Alt-Latino is here to explore the Ranchera. We'll hear old and new examples of this Mexican narrative form. The first song is by Jorge Negrete, one of the most famous Ranchera singers of all time. Ranchera literally translates to "from the ranch," and first began appearing during the Mexican Revolution around 1910. The lyrics were originally written about…
This installment is an encore presentation of Latin Roots #15 of World Cafe's Latin Roots music series is hosted by Chicago-based journalist Catalina Maria Johnson. She writes in Spanish and English for publications such as HOY, Revista Contratiempo, Gozamos and Nat Geo Music. and is a regular radio personality and hosts/producer for the radio program Beat Latino, which airs in Chicago, Mexico City and Berlin. In the late 19th century, Rumba started to emerge in…
In this 19th installment of World Cafe's Latin Roots series, Carlos Alfonso, one of the vocalists and principle songwriters of the Cuban progressive rock band Síntesis, talks with host David Dye about the relationships between Cuban music, Yoruba music (Yoruba are a people in current-day Nigeria) and Arara music (Arara being a culture in present-day Benin). Síntesis is cited as Cuba's first progressive rock band. The band's influences include groups such as Genesis, Pink Floyd…
In this installment of World Cafe's Latin Roots series, Raul Pacheco of the Grammy-winning band Ozomatli talks with host David Dye about how politics influence music. They've certainly affected Pacheco's music, as Ozomatli has been politically driven since its inception. The band's members started playing together 16 years ago, when they were working for the Peace and Justice Center of Los Angeles, and were asked to play for picketers during a strike. Pacheco lets the…
Grammy-winning Latin-music producer Aaron Levinson joins WXPN's David Dye for this, the 17th segment of World Cafe's Latin Roots series. Levinson, a Philadelphia native, started his music career at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. With a background as a musician and composer, he's a former governor of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Levinson has gone on to start his own record label, Range…
San Antonio native Alejandro Escovedo is the co-host of this sixteenth installment of Latin Roots, here to discuss the Latin character of his hometown's music in the 1950's. Escovedo's music has a strong Latin influence as a result of growing up in San Antoinio and listening to his parent's music. His Dad played mariachi, and his parents also to rancheras, country, and big band music - which all seeped into what he does today.
This fifteenth installment of World Cafe's Latin Roots music series is hosted by Chicago-based journalist Catalina Maria Johnson. She writes in Spanish and English for publications such as HOY, Revista Contratiempo, Gozamos and Nat Geo Music. and is a regular radio personality and hosts/producer for the radio program Beat Latino, which airs in Chicago, Mexico City and Berlin. In the late 19th century, Rumba started to emerge in the port city of Matanzas, an hour…
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…
For World Cafe's thirteenth episode of Latin Roots, Latin music aficionado Ernesto Lechner chats about tango. Lechner was born and raised in Beunos Aires, the birthplace of tango. He was first fully immersed in Latin music after moving to Los Angeles and has since written several books on the subject, including Rock en Espanol: The Latin Alternative Rock Explosion. Lechner also co-hosts the radio show Latin Alternative and is a contributing writer for Rolling Stone,…
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.
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Latin Roots is made possible by a grant from the Wyncote Foundation.

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