Latino USA

Archive for July, 2011

Girl in a Coma

Meet and hear Girl in a Coma – an all girl punk-rock band that combines its Chicano heritage with classic and modern rock to create a unique music style all their own. Nina Diaz, Phannie Diaz, and Jenn Alva grew up in South Texas. Their influences are eclectic – the Smiths, Selena, the Pixies and Patsy Cline – helping to shape the unique sound of Girl in a Coma. Maria Hinojosa sat down with the Tejana rockeras.


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El Bulli-The Last Supper

El Bulli is one of the world’s most famous restaurants located two hours north of Barcelona. And after more than 45 years, it’s closing its doors. 20 years ago, chef and owner Ferran Adria introduced what’s called “Molecular Gastronomy” – food full of foams, spheres and liquid nitrogen. Known for his innovative culinary style, he’s had a huge influence on the avant-garde culinary world. Correspondent Evelyn Maturana was one of the lucky few who dined there before it closed. She takes us behind the scenes and finds out what’s next for this famous chef.


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Kidnap Radio

My father’s kidnapping began on November 22, 1999 and ended August 13, 2000. He was kidnapped by the FARC and kept in 38 different places, spending the first months of his kidnapping alone, with only his guards and a radio, for company.

I was 19 when my father was kidnapped in Colombia. It was 1999. My mother came to my college campus to deliver the news and I flew to Bogota to be with my family for a few weeks. (My mother is American, my father’s Colombian and they divorced when I was 5.) After that, except for brief trips for a wedding and a funeral, I didn’t go back to the country where I was born until I traveled there to report this piece in the spring of 2009.

I was able to make the trip thanks to Jay Allison. I met Jay in Woods Hole through Ibby Caputo, a dear friend and a former intern at Atlantic Public Media. After hearing part of the story of my father’s kidnapping and rescue, Jay suggested I undertake this project and guided me along the way.

I asked my father to meet me in Bogota for a long weekend in April so that I could interview him. I had heard bits and pieces about the kidnapping in the intervening years – when I would visit our family — but in the course of our interviews I realized I had known very little about what he’d endured.


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Caracol Radio streams the radio show Voces del Secuestro every Saturday night from midnight to 6:00a Sunday.

This piece was produced for Transom.org by Jay Allison.

Rita Indiana

RITA INDIANA: IN STUDIO WITH MARIA HINOJOSA from The Futuro Media Group on Vimeo.

Video by Xochitl Dorsey

Described as part Grace Jones, part La Lupe, and part David Bowie, Rita Indiana is one of the hottest acts coming out of the Dominican Republic. Blending traditional merengue and Afro-Caribbean beats, with a tinge of art-rock and new wave, she has created a merengue style all her own. Maria Hinojosa sat down with Rita Indiana to find out just who this complex and influential person is.


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Novalima

The nine-piece alternative Afro-Peruvian ensemble Novalima was one of the big attractions at the 12th annual LAMC. Blending soul, reggae, and house with traditional Afro-Peruvian music, they simply make you want to move. Founded in 2001, with its members scattered on three continents, the band gathered in the only place they call home—Peru. Soon after, they were bridging cultures not only in their native country, but around the world. Their latest album “Coba Coba” received a Latin Grammy Nomination for best Alternative album.

Maria Hinojosa sat down with two of the founding members – Ramon Perez Prieto and Rael Morales.


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Arturo O’Farrill and The Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra

Chico O’Farrill was one of Latin jazz music’s most creative voices. From his masterwork “The Afro Cuban jazz Suite” for Charlie Parker, through his work as an arranger for Dizzy Gillespie and others, to his critically acclaimed “Heart of a Legend” album released in his 70′s, Chico’s compositions and arrangements have been recognized as among the most innovative in Latin Jazz.

After 15 years of Sunday night performances in New York’s storied Birdland Jazz Club, the Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra ended its run last week, almost 10 years to the date of Chico O’Farrill’s passing. His son, Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer, Arturo, who had been leading the band, says the burden of running two orchestras, a non profit arts organization and his own smaller ensembles – not to mention his role as father and husband – made the choice inevitable.

Maria Hinojosa talks to Arturo about his father’s legacy, his own musical explorations, and what’s next now that his Sunday nights are free again.
Produced by David Cruz.


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Tats Cru

The streets of the South Bronx in the 1980s and 90s were littered with abandoned buildings, drug dealers, prostitutes and people were being killed everyday as a part of the neighborhood’s off the charts murder rate. It was out of that reality that a group of young Puerto Rican graffiti artists got their start tagging subways. Inspired by their passion for painting, their art soon evolved and they started painting colorful memorial walls throughout the neighborhood in memory of kids who had fallen victim to street violence. Maria Hinojosa first interviewed the artists of Tats Cru 17 years ago when you could find memorial walls on nearly every street corner in the neighborhood.

Now nearly 20 years later, she’s gone back to interview Nicer one of the founding artists from Tats Cru to talk about the issue of gun violence and how much the problem of street violence has changed.
Produced by Yasmeen Qureshi

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