R.I.P.: Remembering the Music
By Grace Bastidas | 01/13/2010 - 13:46

It’s been almost 15 years since Selena met her tragic demise. Known as the Queen of Tejano music, she was just 23 when a deranged fan murdered her in Corpus Christi, Texas. Capital Latin/EMI celebrates the life of the superstar with La Leyenda (out March 9), a 4CD box set, a 2CD deluxe edition and a single-disc hits collection that includes personal messages from those that knew her best.

Read more
ChocQuibTown Represents for Colombia
By Grace Bastidas | 01/12/2010 - 10:36

Colombia never ceases to amaze me. I’ve been here for over a week—first in Medellín and now in Bogotá—and am inspired by all the people I keep meeting: Coal miners, professional cyclists, alternative politicians, film directors. All of them friendly and ready to invite foreigners to their house for a meal, conversation and the chance to show a different side of their beloved country.

Read more
Draco Rosa’s Video for "Esto Es Vida" is Full of Symbolism. Can You Figure it Out?
By Grace Bastidas | 01/11/2010 - 11:23

Singer-songwriter Draco Rosa sees the world through the eyes of a poet. A lover of all things surreal, he finds beauty in almost anything. That’s why his video for the love song “Esto Es Vida” from his eponymous new album is anything but conventional.

Read more
Q&A: Three Questions for the Cuban Cowboys
By Grace Bastidas | 01/08/2010 - 12:00

Bilingual band The Cuban Cowboys play surf rock muddled with a shot of Habana Club. Led by Miami native Jorge Navarro, this foursome put on a roaring live show that always includes some mention of Fidel. I caught up with “Hialeah Jorge” to talk about his upcoming album, The Devil’s Dance (out April 2010), and here’s what he had to say:

What stories can we expect to hear in the album?

Read more
Q&A: Listening to Ocote Soul Sounds
By Grace Bastidas | 01/07/2010 - 09:22

Ocote Soul Sounds was created in 2004 when Martin Perna (Antibalas) and Adrian Quesada (Grupo Fantasma) began to jam together and make what Perna describes as “Latin American folktronic-funklore.” Three albums later, they’re still experimenting with the Afro Latin groove that first united them. I recently caught up with the guys and here’s what they had to say:

How did you guys meet?

Read more
Q&A: Mexican Band Pistolera Makes Music for Kids of All Ages
By Grace Bastidas | 01/06/2010 - 11:58

Brooklyn–based quartet Pistolera blends indie pop and ranchera to create socially conscious songs that deal with life outside of Mexico. Singer and guitarist Sandra Lilia Velasquez tackles immigrant rights, racism, feminism and other pressing issues with equal fervor. And now, as a new mother, she’s ready to spread positive messages to the kiddies via the band’s side-project Moona Luna.

Read more
Start the Year Off Right with these Festivals
By Grace Bastidas | 01/05/2010 - 10:50

Happy New Year! It already seems like 2010 is all about bridging cultures through music. If you’re in the Big Apple this week, you can attend three festivals that aim to make the world just a little bit smaller by gathering acts from around the globe in our own backyard. I’ll have interviews for you later in the week so in the mean time, mark your calendars:

Read more
While Julieta Venegas Readies New CD, She Gifts Us Her Top 20 Albums
By Grace Bastidas | 12/29/2009 - 13:30

Mexican chanteuse Julieta Venegas is getting a head start on 2010. She’s been busy putting the finishing touches on her upcoming album JV10, set for release in March. So far we know she enlisted Grammy-winner Cachorro López as producer (he also worked on her 2006 disc Limón Y Sal) and collaborated with Alejandro Sergi of the band Miranda and Adrian Dargelos from Babasónics on a few songs. While we wait to hear next year’s tunes, we can enjoy Venegas’s favorite albums of 2009.

Read more
Best Music Videos of 2009
By Grace Bastidas | 12/28/2009 - 11:23

Here are the videos I couldn’t stop watching this year—in no particular order. Not only are they all entertaining, but they’re also what make these songs really sing.

Artist: Bomba Estero

Country: Colombia

Song: “Fuego”

Album: Blow Up

Dirctor: Alejandro Buchheim

Read more
Give the Gift of Music
By Grace Bastidas | 12/23/2009 - 11:30

If you’re still stressing over what to get your loved ones for Christmas, it’s time to get creative. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite old-school Latin holiday songs. Feel free to reshuffle them, add your own tunes and gift them as a mix to your friends and family. Remember, it’s the thought that matters.

“La Fiesta de Pilito”—El Gran Combo:
The holiday menu in this track will put anyone in a good spirit and get their belly rumbling: “a comer pastel y a comer lechón arroz con gandules y a beber ron.”

Read more