Latino USA

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

John Santos

The Internet has made listening to music from all over the world instantaneous, but often lost in these eclectic rhythms are the origins of sound. For artist and percussionist John Santos, history and the tradition of music is his guiding tool to creating an exquisitely unique sound. He is born in the Bay Area of San Francisco, but raised in the Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean traditions of his family, surrounded by music. He is considered one of the leading Afro-Latino musicians in the world today. Maria Hinojosa talks to Santos to find out what his music represents and how the roots of resistance are expressed on his latest album La Esperanza.

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Alt.Latino

This week Maria Hinojosa checks in with Jasmine Gards and Felix Contreras of Alt.Latino, a new NPR podcast exploring the latest in Latin alternative music. As the two hosts explain, “borders and boundaries mean nothing” in this unique Latino genre that mixes rock, cumbia, techno, folk and more. Together they take use through the history of Latin alternative and share their picks for the latest artists to watch out for.

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Listen to a couple of tracks from Felix and Jasmine’s personal play list!
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Esperanza Spalding

Bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding became the first jazz musician to win the Grammy for Best New Artist this week. But long before she made headlines and stirred up Justin Bieber fans, Latino USA had been following her career. In 2008 when she released her first album Esperanza, Maria Hinojosa talked to Spalding about her inspirations and influences in her music. Her latest album is Chamber Music Society

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The Road to Stardom

Born Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona in El Paso, Texas, Vikki Carr not only changed her name but also became one of the first true crossover singers, who released albums in both English and Spanish.

She is celebrating 50 years in the business in which she has won three Grammy’s, sung for five Presidents and the Queen of England, released over 60 best-selling songs, and worked in every major sphere of the entertainment industry.

In this candid interview with Maria Hinojosa, Carr takes us through every turn of her career — from her first gig and changing her name, to what it is like to hang out with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.

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DBR: A Year After the Earthquake in Haiti

It has been a year since the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and international efforts continue to attempt to rebuild the infrastructure that was destroyed. But the rebuilding also continues in the lives of the survivors.

Here is an encore presentation of Maria’s interview with violinist and composer DBR — Daniel Bernard Roumain.


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Girl in a Coma

Maria sits down with the three musicians that make up Girl in a Coma to talk about their influences and their growing-up in Texas.


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Remembering Selena

We remember Selena, 15 years after her death.


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Latino Hip Hop

This week, three Latin Hop Hop acts. All very different, but all influenced by the places they came from and the places they’ve traveled and moved to.

First, Kinto Sol. Kinto Sol is a hip hop act comprised of three brothers originally from Mexico, now based in Milwaukee. They combine traditional Mexican music with the sounds of hip hop and Spanish rapping to produce something entirely unique.


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Santero was raised in Central America and spent much of his childhood traveling and performing with his father’s bands. His upbringing makes it easy for Santero to blend a variety of Latin musical styles, and the traveling he’s done throughout America has allowed him to incorporate genres popular in his adopted country. Santero’s an artist, a DJ, and a producer. He lives in Oakland, Calif.


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Finally, Telmary. Telmary, born Telmary Diaz, is a Cuban rapper and self-proclaimed “street poet.” Her music forges new ground, while still remaining deeply imbued with Cuba’s rich musical heritage and variety. Telmary has rebelled against the male-dominated hip hop scene in Cuba, and her uncommon music has earned her respect.


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The Narcicyst

Canadian MC The Narcicyst has had a foot in the East and West his whole life. Born in Dubai to an Iraqi family, he moved to Canada at a young age, and has gone back and forth several times. Narcy uses his music as a political tool, but as he’s grown and matured, his work has also become more personal. He talked with Maria Hinojosa about how we can get past our fear of “the other.”


Click the image to the right to watch the music video for The Narcicyst’s song “P.H.A.T.W.A.”


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Narcy has been working with photographer Ridwan Adhami and photographers all over the world to depict the diversity of Islam. Their work will has been incorporated into a new video titled “Hamdulillah,” directed by Adhami. You can watch the video here and read more about the collaboration on Narcy’s blog.

Issac Delgado & Nat King Cole

Issac Delgado is a Cuban-born salsa musician who bridges the gap between new and old. Fred Wasser talked with the artist, who now lives in Miami, about his admiration for the music of Nat King Cole and how Cole’s music has influenced his musical imagination.


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Visit Issac Delgado on the web.

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