The Mexican folk music of Veracruz is a pathway not just to her own cultural and familial roots, Natalia Lafourcade says, but also offers a balm for these times.
This week, we host a roundtable with reporters covering the coronavirus and how infections have adversely impacted communities of color in the U.S.
From a virtual songwriting camp to studio session work, we check back with Davíd Garza, Rocio Marron and Making Movies' Enrique Chi about what they're doing to generate some income during quarantine.
Hit play on new songs from Chicano Batman, Lido Pimienta and Helado Negro for your indoor and socially-distanced outdoor activities.
Hear an interview with the great Cuban percussionist as he remembers Havana nightlife in the 1940s and the pulsing streets of New York just after World War II.
If there was ever a need for the healing power of music, now is that time. We put out a call for the songs helping you cope and, on this episode, we play your picks.
Davíd Garza, Making Movies' Enrique Chi and Rocio Marron share the struggle of being a working musician during this time.
In the wake of the cancellation of SXSW this year, Alt.Latino explores the bands we had wanted to see this year in Austin, Texas.
We use the music of pianist Omar Sosa this week to calm our anxieties and fears during an uncertain time.
Bad Bunny's YHLQMDLG is the buzz of the Latinx internet, but we also speed through 14 other essential releases.
The story of Latin America has always been reflected in music. We asked a music writer, a college professor and reggaeton pioneer to help us understand the history and nuance of Latin Urban's dominance in pop music.
"If you liked Hamilton, you'll love this book," assures historian Jesse Hoffnung-Garskoff. It's a gripping read about migrants who conspired to overthrow a colonial monarchy and eliminate slavery.
We capture the sights, sounds and even the tastes of Afro Colombian culture at the Petronio Alvarez Music Festival.
The Puerto Rican rapper's musical history is essentially the history of the reggaeton. Her influence helped shape the genre as we know it.
Shakira and Jennifer Lopez did more than shake things up on the Super Bowl stage. A panel of sociologists and music writers unpack the dialog.
When does a depiction of culture, history and identity become inauthentic? And according to whom? We dig into the conversation around the novel American Dirt.
The 2017 winners of the Tiny Desk Contest travel to Havana with NOLA's The Soul Rebels to connect with Cimafunk, Cuban musicians and history.
We kick off the new year with Nicky Jam and Daddy Yankee, garage-rocker Tall Juan and newcomers Salt Cathedral. 2020 already sounds amazing. Alt.Latino World Headquarters offers its first new music show of the decade and I couldn't do it without contributor Stefanie Fernández. Make sure to follow Alt.Latino's weekly playlist via Spotify or Apple Music. -- Felix Contreras
Not only is the SNL comedian a hilarious celebrity impersonator but also an impressive singer with an old-school vocal instrument. She shares her love for Queen, Celine Dion and No Doubt on this episode.
Fresh from their holiday Tiny Desk, members of Los Lobos take us on a pan-Latin cruise through Navidad from the Caribbean to Mexico to Texas.
What is "Latin music" when it encompasses Chicana punk, mariachi music, urbano and Cuban funk? We dive into a year that gave us new music from Fea, Flor de Toloache, Sech and Bad Bunny.
This week, hear interviews with members of Fea, Jenny and the Mexicats and Y La Bamba on culture, identity and the evolution their songwriting.
Alt.Latino draws the lines between Latin music and some of the eight women who invented popular music.
"We make music to collide with the world." The Puerto Rican superstar discusses Nibiru and the state of Latin Urban music.
In what's become an annual tradition on Alt.Latino, we remember those we've lost through song with reverence and a little joy.
Sometimes the musicians who visit Alt.Latino prefer to express themselves in Spanish. This week we have an all Spanish interview with the founders of the founders of the genre busting Cuban band, Sintesis.
The SoCal Mexican roots-rock and soul band drops by to chat about its new, self-titled album. Over the past decade as a band, the members now feel like family.
Netlfix is streaming a film documenting the iconic band retracing a historic concert by country legend Johnny Cash.
Alt.Latino favorite Gaby Moreno tams up with Van Dyke Parks
The saxophonist, flautist and bandleader has been traveling to Cuba and performing its music for over 30 years.
Can you hear the cha-cha-cha in "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"? Or the mambo in "What I'd Say"? Dive into early rock and roll's Cuban DNA.
Three portraits of musicians and a filmmaker who illuminate distinct forms of Mexican music expression.
As seasons change, we play Cuban music from Canada, Salvadoran/Mexican music from Los Angeles and a Nuyorican protest song.
This week we visit with artist performing at the third annual Los Dells festival in the U.S Midwest.
Just a week after performing at Woodstock, Santana released its self-titled debut. Hear original members of the band recount its creation.
The musician and magazine publisher talks to Alt.Latino about guitar players and issues of representation on this week's show.
Music and identity dominates a wide-ranging conversation with writers Elizabeth Acevedo, Amanda Alcantara and Danyeli Rodriguez del Orbe.
This week a special show of music to help mourn and remember the victims of the recent tragic events around the country.
Latin Alternative pioneers Aterciopelados are featured along side the vocalist from Spain's Macaco and Mexican reggae/ska vets Panteon Rococo this week.
Three of Puerto Rico's biggest musicians release a protest song through social media that challenged the island's governor.
Alt.Latino hits the road to visit RuidoFest in Chicago, NuevoFest in Philadelphia and the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) in NYC.
Paying tribute to the father of the bossa nova through his music and the words of his fellow musicians.
The former Calle 13 vocalist and the roqueros from Kansas City discuss their new albums and how they channel their passions about the world into music.
These songs have the power to say what we feel, even when we can't say them ourselves. We listen back to some of our favorite stories from NPR's American Anthem series.
Six months into 2019, we highlight dream pop, electronic fantasies, West African Cuban music and Latin rock from a salsa icon.
Carlos Santana is having a big year: the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, the 20th anniversary of Supernatural, and now a new album featuring Spanish vocalist Buika, Africa Speaks.
With Cuba in the new this week, Alt.Latino re-examines the longstanding musical relationship between the US and Cuba.
The three women who play the lead characters in the Starz series Vida join Alt. Latino to talk music, drama and La Llorona.
The Mexican guitar duo talk share songs by Nina Simone, Caifanes and Rage Against the Machine and discuss the role of the guitar in rock.
The iconic Mexican vocalist and composer Lila Downs uses music to celebrate chiles.
Taina Asili and Olmeca talk about mixing activism with music in this week's show.
The West African vocalist talks about bringing out the Afrobeat in Celia Cruz's rich Cuban catalog with the tribute album Celia.
The Honduran-American vocalist shares her musical inspirations with Alt.Latino host Felix Contreras and guest host Jessica Diaz-Hurtado.
Alt.Latino host Felix Contreras empties the mail bag that was overflowing with new music. Mexico and Spain are represented as are Joni Mitchell and Amy Winehouse.
Over breakfast tacos and barbecue, Team Alt.Latino sat down with musicians at SXSW for interviews about their music.
The five nights of discoveries at SXSW 2019 served as a reminder that music can heal, challenge and change the world we live in.
The prolific electronic musician stops in to talk about his influences and his new album, This Is How You Smile.
Roma director Alfonso Cuarón handpicked artists to make music inspired by the characters from his Oscar-nominated film. The results are stunning.
Through four wide-ranging conversations — with a punk singer, a reporter, a group of Latin American expats and singer Rita Moreno — Alt.Latino took a wide-lens survey of the cultural landscape.
Musicians have a long tradition of staring down military dictatorships and oppressive governments in Brazil.
We're sure you've heard of Santana but do you know Y La Bamba? This week's show features new music from icons and new artists you should know.
Good Morning, Aztlan collects several well-known Perez compositions as well as his thoughts on a variety of topics.
An excerpt of a year-long series featured on NPR that speak to unity and inspiration.
In an interview from Puerto Rico, Bad Bunny talks about his influences and the music on his new record.
Jasmine Garsd returns to review listeners' favs. We heard music we knew and also some discoveries.
It's been another watershed for Latin music. Altlatino's Felix Contreras, Stefanie Fernandez, Marisa Arbona Ruiz and Catalina Maria Johnson round up the year's best.
A batch of new music to enjoy just before the Solstice and much colder weather.
The latest album from O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra is a collaboration with Mexican son jarocho musicians.
Musical ofrendas highlight our annual celebration of family and friendship.
An appreciation for Latin jazz musician Jerry Gonzalez.
The iconic actor and musicians teams with Jazz At Lincoln Center to sing both bog band swing tunes and songs from his catalog.
The iconic musician talks about his career and plays songs that influenced his music.
'The Complete Cuban Jam Sessions' box set proves these friendly gatherings were incubation chambers for Afro-Cuban music and jazz.
Latin music is well represented in the popular Tiny Desk Concert series.
A collection of stories from NPR News about the devastating storm and its aftermath.
This special Spanish language Podcast Extra highlights a Cuban hip-hop artist in her own words.
The Crossing tells a story of identity and rock and roll dreams on his newest album.
Air That You Breathe by Frances De Pontes Peebles captures samba's golden age.
Summer's almost over so we present new sounds and two video premiers from upcoming albums.
Great new music to get you through the rest of the summer!
Latinx bands who feel shut out of mainstream Fests find gigs at Latin music festivals
Musicians use music to challenge the President's immigration policies.
We laugh, we cry, we celebrate the best of the year so far with everything from bugalú to boleros to Latinx punk.
The pianist's new album is a lesson on contemporary Cuban piano, performed with a trio with strong familial ties.
This week, Alt.Latino talks to Vida show runner Tanya Saracho about portraying Latinx stories of queerness, family and gentefication with an eye toward nuance onscreen and representation offscreen.
After cracking the American pop charts last year, the Colombian reggaeton star is following the success of "Mi Gente" with his fifth album, Vibras. And he knows you're still listening.
This week on Alt.Latino, we discuss how and whether to remix legendary recordings — and, along the way, feature a new album of remixed salsa classics.
The San Antonio-based band can trace its musical roots back to conjunto's beginnings in the early 1930s. The group plays guest DJ with tracks from its Spanglish-titled new album.
A panel of women take on the topic of what it takes to make in in the Latin music business while staying true to your gender identity.
The NPR Music staff watched almost 5,000 videos during the Tiny Desk Contest. We highlight five Latinx artists that impressed us.
The Colombian-American singer recalls her favorite childhood memories tied to music and plays some of the songs that inspired her debut album Isolation.
At 19, the producer and singer born Omar Banos has built a millions-strong following for his infectious dream pop — and begun testing it as a tool to help immigrant families like his own.
Some artists we can't wait to see at the annual music conference in Austin, Texas, representing a wide spectrum of styles and genres.
Alt.Latino hosts our first SXSW Showcase with two bands that show off distinct styles and approaches to Latin music.
Latino film makers create compelling histories of two Chicano civil rights figures in their new films to air on PBS.
Jorge Drexler shares music from his native Uruguay that influenced his own music.
This week, we have a thoughtful discussion of the genre's sometimes controversial depiction of women.
All the music in the show this month has a musical or cultural tie to Africa, in celebration of Black History Month.
The iconic actress Rita Moreno talks about her new role on One Day At A Time on Netflix and offers lessons about life.
The pioneering DJ and member of Masters At Work talks about his recent Grammy nomination, growing up in the Bronx, and a new collaboration with some of the Cuba's finest musicians.
We've already featured some great on the blog — now we add even more great music on the podcast.
Four artists with roots in El Salvador discuss their art and the threat to the country's immigrant community.
Alt.Latino kicks off the new year with a new feature: the Alt.Latino Album Chat, a conversation about a new album by the artist who made it. This week, Making Movies.
We call on some of the top Latinx music writers to help us look back at some of their top cuts of 2017.
In a genre going in as many directions as modern Latin music, how do you narrow a list of albums to just a few favorites? Alt.Latino's host and guests share their attempt for 2017.
Her voice dripping with Southern R&B grit, Moreno and her band never lose sight of the emotion in the holiday classics they perform at KUT in Austin, Texas from a show recorded in 2015.
Alt.Latino's digital and analog mail bags were still bulging with new music, even as the year is drawing to a close. Rock, hip-hop, soul and rancheras — we have it all.
This week we talk about the new film Coco with an NPR entertainment reporter and some of the principals of the film.
Alt.Latino makes the trek to Las Vegas to cover the Latin Grammy's! Join us for a visit to the Red Carpet!
Puerto Rican artist iLe plays Guest DJ, joining us to spin the classics from another era, the raw material that helped her create the album iLevitable.
The jazz drummer Antonio Sanchez is much more than that job title suggests — his new album Bad Hombre addresses current events instrumentally.
This week, conversations with two greats of the theatre stage — one you probably know and the other you should.
This week, conversations with two greats of the theatre stage — one you probably know and the other you should.
Pianists Chucho Valdes and Arturo O'Farrill honor their fathers, Latin jazz greats Bebo Valdes and Chico O'Farrill, on a new album. Here, the younger O'Farrill discusses Familia on Alt.Latino.
Alt.Latino favorites rub elbows with Latin music superstars in this year's Latin Grammy nominations. This week we look back at how we covered them this past year.
A massive cultural exhibit illustrates the connection between Southern California and Latin America in ways that are not so obvious.
Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta visits Alt.Latino to talk about the new documentary about her life. We also talk history, politics and music.
Carlos Santana teamed up with iconic soul and funk band The Isley Brothers for a new album dedicated to peace through music. On this episode, we invite them all to talk about its creation and message.
New music to drive out that endless loop of "Despacito" playing in your head! Featuring two AltLatino contributors, Catalina Maria John and Marisa Arbona- Ruiz.
It was the No. 1 song in America for 16 straight weeks. As the summer of "Despacito" draws to a close, AltLatino explores the musical, sociological and business ripples created by the song's success.
This week, we share our favorite discoveries from the annual Latin Alternative Music Conference in New York.
AltLatino's annual cruise of summer music festivals dedicated to Latin Alternative music, arts and culture. Three cities, four festivals!
Beat the heat with this sampler of new tunes, including everything from rock to Latin jazz to electronic to cumbia and flamenco.
The musical exchange between the United States and Cuba goes back to the 19th century. Thankfully, the two countries' political standoff never filtered down to musicians.
Prompted by the song that activist Jeanette Vizguerra says motivates her — John Lennon's "Imagine" — Alt.Latino presents a mix of inspirational classic-rock songs with Latin and jazz twists.
The multi-instrumentalist and vocalist blends jazz, Latin music and soul seamlessly on his new album, Bad Ass And Blind. His musical touchpoints range from Paco de Lucía to Mercedes Sosa.
The globetrotting SoCal band shares tracks from its new album Non-Stop: Mexico>Jamaica, bringing music and laughs to the studio.
Alt.Latino's summer music magazine features three artists — the band Making Movies, the writer Gabby Rivera and the singer Natalia Lafourcade — whose work reflects the reality and joy of life.
Hear how the members of this SoCal band developed the funky, one-of-a-kind sound that's helped propel it to national success.
Alt.Latino joins forces with WXPN'S World Cafe to host an electric performance by the Puerto Rican band. Back in the studio, we speak with the band about its innovative approach to Yoruba culture.
To celebrate its new album, Jei Beibi, the iconic Mexican band visits Alt.Latino to play guest DJ — and talk about everything but the album.
We were thrilled to have Juana Molina on the show in 2013 to talk about her album, Wed21, her musical influences, and how to rebel when your parents have the coolest musical tastes ever.
The Spanish musician joins AltLatino for a bilingual show exploring the common roots of flamenco and jazz.
AltLatino Extra presents a Q&A with the co-creator and Supervising Producer of the seminal PBS music documentary series, Latin Music USA.
Members of the Grammy-winning Chicano roots band Quetzal share an eclectic mix of what they're listening to, from Palestinian rap to Morrissey and The Smiths.
Hear what's new in the world of Latin music with 22 albums that run the gamut from roots to electronic, rock, hip-hop, jazz and folk — and all the things that fall in between.
The former Calle 13 frontman starts a new musical chapter with his latest album and documentary film, both of which are records of his two-year trip around the world.
Hear three mini-profiles of musicians and filmmakers whose art captures Latinx culture and identity — in three very different ways.
A spirit of protest motivated many Latin bands at this year's festival. Hear thoughts and music from some of the artists who performed, including Gina Chavez and members of Ozomatli and Fea.
Discover a few of the many Latin bands that submitted videos for NPR Music's 2017 Tiny Desk Contest.
March 8 marks International Women's Day. Alt.Latino brings in a panel of Latinx music journalists to explore contemporary feminist movements in music and culture.
Percussionist Bobby Sanabria helps investigate the musical dialogue between island and mainland
Janel Martinez, founder of the blog Ain't I Latina, talks about Afro-Latina identity and the power of visibility in the media and music.
Tim Z. Hernandez's new book is about the plane crash that inspired Guthrie's song "Deportee."
Continue celebrating Black History Month with a dive into the vibrant world of Afro-Brazilian music, including hip-hop, funk, soul and jazz.
With Folkways curator Dan Sheehy as a guide, Alt.Latino explores how the music of West Africa has influenced Latin America and the Caribbean.
Hip-hop scholar Jason Nichols says hip-hop in Latin America is more than just music — it's cultural exchange. Hear a conversation and a few tracks from all over the region.
Radio Ambulante is a Spanish-language podcast that features a wide array of voices and stories.
As President Obama leaves office, Alt.Latino digs up some of the Latin music that's found its way into the Mixtape-Maker-In-Chief's playlists.
Hear new tracks from Cafe Tacvba, Dayme Arocena, Chicano Batman, Hurray For The Riff Raff and more.