Beat Latino

hosted and produced by Catalina Maria Johnson, a Chicago-based music journalist

Beat Latino celebrates in every hour a different facet of the extraordinary diversity of the Latin musical universe. From traditional, roots music to the most cutting-edge avant garde, Beat Latino shares the best of Latin music with you! Each week, Beat Latino explores a topic of cultural significance through our music - holidays, immigration, genres and rhythms from different countries, life, family, love - everything Latinos have sung about past, present and future. Beat Latino is presented in Spanish and English.

Cada edición de Beat Latino celebra una diferente faceta del presente, pasado y futuro de la extraordinaria diversidad del universo musical latino - desde ritmos y melodías raíz tradicionales hasta la música de último momento y de vanguardia - ¡lo mejor de lo mejor de la música latina! A través de la música, en el programa de Beat Latino exploramos en cada hora un tema de importancia cultural, por ejemplo, días festivos, la inmigración, diversos géneros y países, la vida, la familia y el amor - ¡todos los temas sobre los cuales cantamos los latinos! Catalina Maria Johnson les invita a sintonizar Beat Latino, cuya presentación es en inglés y en español.

Beat Latino
Featured photo: Rana Santacruz, courtesy of the artist.

Beat Latino on | 25.04.2015

Recent releases highlight the amazing eclecticism of our music! There's a myriad of beats we can claim as ours, from Lila Down's new visionary "Balas y Chocolate" inspired in the Day of the Dead, to the nuevo folk from Peru courtesy of Kanaku y el Tigre to experimental artist Mercedes Peón wailing and howling and adding electronica, Galician-style right along with Warsaw Village Band to Rana Santacruz's latest, this week's Beat Latino is a wild and wonderful paseo!


content of recent radioshows:


Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 18.04.2015

It's all about words made poems made music this week on Beat Latino! Celebrating Poetry Month with poets and hip hop artists who make art with their words!


Beat Latino
Feature photo: "The Song Within" by Jade Leyva-Frouge

Beat Latino on | 11.04.2015

This week's Beat Latino is a musical tribute to our planet, Pacha Mama, Mother Earth! We have songs from Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and more that sing the praises of our beautiful home and some of its beautiful features: sky, water, flowers, land. Celebrate April 22 with us, and while you dance and sing, do remember to take care of our Pacha Mama.






Beat Latino
© Babel Med Conference for 2015

Beat Latino on | 04.04.2015

Southern France is SO Latin in so many ways, and the music of 11th edition of Babel Med reflected the open, Mediterranean spirit of its home in the port of Marseilles, with showcases from Colombia, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, France and more! Enjoy the beautiful music we heard at one of the world's crossroads cities!






Beat Latino
Feature photo: Kali Uchis at SXSW by Catalina Maria Johnson

Beat Latino on | 28.03.2015

Lotsa music from deep in the heart of Texas! This week's Beat Latino takes a paseo to Austin to check the wonderful music at SXSW 2015. From the sultry panache and neo soul of Colombia's Kali Uchis, to the folk-rock vibes of Centavrus from Mexico to the indie Yoruban French-Cuban grooves of Ibeyi and much, much more, this year's SXSW shared some incredibly revelatory music with tens of thousands. Enjoy!






Beat Latino
© Santiago Wechsler

Beat Latino on | 21.03.2015

Celebrate World Water Day - El Día Mundial del Agua- with music about water on this week's Beat Latino. From Colombia to Mexico to Argentina to Spain, we have sung about the beauty of water for many generations, and today eco-activists such as Colombia's #aterciopelados remind us of water's importance to Mother Earth.

World Water Day is March 22. Enjoy!





Beat Latino
Photo: Mercedes Sosa in concert, by Victoria Bianco

Beat Latino on | 14.03.2015

A celebration of musical HERstory this week on Beat Latino! We honor the music created by fierce and powerful women who marked the lives of several generations of Latinos world-round. From Mercedes Sosa of Argentina to Chavela Chargas of Costa Rica to Selena from Texas and Chabuca Granda from Peru, Beat Latino celebrates these and many more amazing women whose voices made our hearts sing!







Beat Latino
Feature photo: El Búho, courtesy of the artist

Beat Latino on | 28.02.2015

Yay for new music! It's time to spend some time with 2015's recent and upcoming releases. From French-Cuban twin wunderkind Ibeyi's amazing new release to mariachi icon Juan Gabriel in duo with indie rockera Natalia Lafourcade to Chancha via Circuito's eco-electronic remixes of South American endangered birdsongs, 2015 is sounding spectacular. ¡Viva la música latina!







Beat Latino
Feature photo: Carnaval de Barranquilla by Louis Vast

Beat Latino on | 21.02.2015

It's time to revel in the beats of Carnaval, from Barranquilla to San Juan to Santo Domingo, Brazil to Colombia to Cuba, shake a tail feather (or two or three!) to celebrate Mardi Gras a la latina.

Baila la gente de noche, baila la gente de día! ¡Llegó el Carnaval! Es el momento de celebrar y ¡a menear el cuerpo se ha dicho! antes de que comience la Cuaresma. ¡Feliz Mardi Gras, amigos!







Beat Latino
Feature photo: Alex Cuba by Christina Woerns, courtesy of the artist

Beat Latino on | 07.02.2015

Beat Latino keeps the paseo musical in Cuba one more week, but viewed from outside the island! This week's selection is music created by Cuban artists in the U.S., Canada, France...powerful rhythmic concoctions fed by Cuban roots transplanted elsewhere. It includes hip hop, jazz, son cubano, descarga with touches of flamenco and other hybrids that share the different worlds these Cuban artists are experiencing. Enjoy!







Beat Latino
Feature photo: Kevin Johansen and Liniers at Globalfest
Photo by Catalina Maria Johnson

Beat Latino on | 31.01.2015

This week's Beat Latino goes to New York City to share the amazing music we heard at showcases during APAP 2015, the annual conference of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. We went to Winter Jazzfest, Globalfest and more to take the pulse of the world, jazz and Latin music scene, and here are some of our favorite performers and discoveries! Enjoy!







Beat Latino
© Santiago Wechsler

Beat Latino on | 17.01.2015

Beat Latino this week is all about... ¡Puro tango que no es tango! Only tangos that are not exactly, tangos!

We've got flamenco tangos with Diego el Cigala and Martirio, tropical tangos with Ruben Blades, mariachi tangos with Vicente Fernández and Rocío Durcal, salsa tangos with Jerry Rivera, electro tangos with Gotan Project and much, much more! We love the genre-hopping that abounds today in our Latin musical universe!

Get your tango on (sort of!) with Beat Latino this week!





Beat Latino
Feature photo: Alika, by Catalina Maria Johnson

Beat Latino on | 10.01.2015

It's that time of year when our thoughts turn to changing for the better, so this week's Beat Latino shares music for to accompany New Year's resolutions. More music, less violence? More singing, more dancing? New romantic horizons? Well, we got you covered with a tune for every kind of trend you wish to encourage in the year to come!






Beat Latino
Foto: Chancha via Circuito, courtesy of the artist

Beat Latino on | 03.01.2015

From the mystical Amazonian soundscapes created by Argentina's Chancha via Circuito, to the tropical 70's-tinged psychedelia pulsing from Guayo Cedeño's Honduran beats to the austere minimalism of Magos Herrera's voice and Javier Limón's guitar, to the horn-driven Mexican Mambo from Tucson of Orkesta Mendoza to Angelino Olmeca's power of music applied to renewing a sense of social justice in our world, 2014 was an extraordinary year for nuestra música created by Latin Americans and home-grown Latinos.

Here's to the amazing #2015 predicted by these #trending #tendencias! #beatlatino






Beat Latino
Feature photo: OlsonJ

Beat Latino on | 27.12.2014

This week's Beat Latino has the music to dance in the New Year! Here's tunes to say hello to the New Year and new paths, new loves and new adventures as well as good-bye to the Old Year and even a song or two of good riddance to romances that it's time to leave behind.

Here's wishing you a wonderful, amazing 2015! Happy new year! ¡Feliz año novo!






Beat Latino
Feature photo: Catalina Maria Johnson

Beat Latino on | 20.12.2014

Cumbia around the Christmas tree! Slow dance to a bluesy holiday bolero! Mariachi under the mistletoe! Because Christmas music from the Latin and Latino universe is especially delightful and as to be expected, super danceable! The 2014 holiday edition of Beat Latino has shares tunes to celebrate the season including selections from a 2014 album from one of our favorite artists, Guatemalan Gaby Moreno. Enjoy!






Beat Latino
Feature photo: Ana Tijoux, courtesy of the artist

Beat Latino on | 13.12.2014

On Beat Latino this week, the songs I had on repeat from the first time I heard them until... well, now. Amazing music in 2014 From the austere to the ultra-lush, from beats to rap to magnetic cumbia, quirky, activist, mystical - you name it, the Latin musical universe has it!

Explore some of the best of 2014 at 1 pm, tune in to Beat Latino!






Beat Latino
Feature photo: Carolina Sánchez

Beat Latino on | 06.12.2014

The disappearance of 43 students from a rural teaching college in Mexico on September 26 has unleashed not just protests on both sides of the border but powerful music as well. This week's Beat Latino shares songs that commemorate the students and condemn the corruption and violence that caused their deaths, as well as songs from Latin America's protest tradition.






Beat Latino
Photograph: Calima by Catalina Maria Johnson

Beat Latino on | 22.11.2014

Come take a paseo to Santiago de Compostela with Beat Latino! We're back from WOMEX 2014 (World Music Expo) and enjoying the musical discoveries from the experience. From Mexican metal jazz with a large dose of funk (Troker) to poignant seafarers laments from Portugal (Lula Pena) to tropical psychedelic surf rock (Guayo Cedeño and Coco Bar) to Galician celtic-tinged troubador's stories of the sea (Davide Salvado) and so much more! Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!








Beat Latino
Photograph: Catalina Maria Johnson

Beat Latino on | 15.11.2014

The 2014 Latin Grammy's are coming up, and there's so much awesome music to share! This week's Beat Latino is about our favorite Latin Grammy nominees. We are particularly impressed with the genre-crossing of many of our artists and how there are truly no borders: salseros and mariachis sing tangos; troveros do hip hop; flamencas interpret nueva trova! And at the very top of our list is the 20th Century poetry from Puerto Rico's Calle 13. Enjoy!








Beat Latino
Photograph: Calima by Catalina Maria Johnson

Beat Latino on | 08.11.2014

Since medieval times, pilgrims have flocked to the city of Santiago in Compostela in northwestern Spain to visit the shrine of St. James the Apostle. In October, Santiago welcomed thousands of a different kind of seeker as more than two thousand delegates from 90 countries came to the 20th edition of Womex 2014 - (World Music Expo) - to experience 60 concerts on seven stages and take the pulse of the international music industry.

And we were there to take it all in! This first part of our recap spends some time with artist-producer Rafa Kotcherha to find out about the amazing eco-musical Wapapura project that uses solar energy to record music in spectacularly beautiful settings, as well as stream those concerts and DJ parties. Power from and to the sun! We also chatted with official showcase selection artist Santiago de Compostela's Davide Salvado about his indie neo-folk take on Galician music, and Calima, another official showcasing ensemble from Barcelona, on the evolution of their nuevo flamenco sound.

Come take a trip to Santiago de Compostela with me!








Beat Latino
© Santiago Wechsler

Beat Latino on | 01.11.2014

Celebrating All Saints Day here on Beat Latino! Not as widely known in the U.S.A. as the Day of the Dead, but All Saints Day, día de todos los santos , Nov. 1, is widely celebrated throughout all the Americas and Spain - and it is the day before the official Day of the Dead, November 2.

And there's a lot of popular saints with songs to match! Particularly those saints in charge of romantic affairs :) And as with so much of our spiritual practices in the Americas, syncretism between African and indigenous and European spiritual traditions blended so the same saint may have had counterparts in African or indigenous belief systems.

So here's a sampler of tunes, including two that are specifically party tunes for the Saints! Yes, in our Americas, even the Saints like to dance. Enjoy!








Beat Latino
© Catalina Maria Johnson

Beat Latino on | 25.10.2014

Celebrate the Day of the Dead with Beat Latino this week! Songs from all over the Americas that take us back and forth between life and death, living and leaving...Because our celebration of the Day of the Dead is really about celebrating the lives of those we love and the time we have together. Enjoy!











Beat Latino
Feature Photo: Captain Planet by Koury Angely, courtesy of the artist

Beat Latino on | 11.10.2014

This week's Beat Latino was inspired by a new album by Captain Planet titled "Esperanto Slang" which led me to reflect on the "invented" language of Esperanto. Esperanto was created with the hopes of bringing peace and unity to all of us by allowing us to easily communicate via a universal language. It was a wonderful idea, but never quite took off. Nevertheless, musicians successfully speak a universal language all the time, and this week we share tunes new and old in which musicians from outside Latino traditions sing in Spanish or build upon Latin melodies and rhythms; or conversely, Latin musicians that occasionally foray to sing in languages other than their native tongue.

Welcome to Planet Esperanto on Beat Latino!







Beat Latino
Feature Photo: Mariza, by Isabel Pinto. Courtesy of the Artist

Beat Latino on | 04.10.2014

This week's Beat Latino is a "probadita" - just a taste of wonderful music in Portuguese from the lands that share cultural, historical and linguistic ancestors with us in Latin America and Europe. We share a sampler of music born in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, as sailors far from family and Africans torn from their lands and loved one created music to soothe their souls; as well as delightful melodies for celebrations and gatherings. Samba from Brazil, Fado from Portugal, Semba from Angola, Morna from Cabo Verde and more in this week's Beat Latino dedicated to our Familia Kreol.







Beat Latino
Photo: Ani Cordero - Courtesy of the artis

Beat Latino on | 27.09.2014

C'mon for ride back to the future here on Beat Latino!

This week, we take a listen to artists that take a page from the past to explore the present of Latino music. From the Orkesta Mendoza in Tucson, Arizona; the lovely re-interpreted ballads from the late 20th Century Latin America from Brooklyn's Ani Cordero, radio hits from the early 20th Century from California's Cascada de Flores, and much, much more! All the while revisiting the past, these artist are creating #futurerootsmusic. Enjoy!







Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 13.09.2014

This week Beat Latino takes a paseo around the world to explore the global side of Latino! For example, we start with Ibeyi, French-Cuban twins and daughters of the superb Afrocuban percussionist Miguel 'Angá' Díaz, who like many of the artists in this week's Beat Latino take their Latino roots to the most surprising places - Brazil, Morocco, Turkey, Portugal and beyond!







Beat Latino
Feature photo: Cover of Sensacional Soul, Vampisoul Records

Beat Latino on | 06.09.2014

It's time to get seriously groooooovy! Retro sounds old and new on this week's Beat Latino! From Colombia, Spain, Mexico, Cuba, New York and all over the Latino musical universe, starting in the 50's and continuing 'til today, alma latina seriously infused the SOUL movement and created some tasty, swinging tunes. Get ready to shingalin, bugaloo and boogie to the beat!







Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 30.08.2014

This week's Beat Latino is a tribute to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, one of the greatest writers and Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. Our much beloved Gabo left a world made immensely richer not just by words spun together in the narrative web of Magical Realism, but characters and spaces that expanded our inner and outer worlds.

What you may not know is Gabo loved music, and even sang (with Carlos Fuentes!) as a side job in Paris as a young writer. He comments on musical experiences in many interviews and even in writing (he wrote about the Beatles and Shakira, just as two examples). This week's Beat Latino is a gracias to Gabo by playing music he commented on, tried to compose, mentioned and inspired. Enjoy!



Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 23.08.2014

Back to basics on beatlatino today! Tune in now nuevo folk from Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Spain and more! Singer-songwriters with lots of new rhythmic twists taking folk to places it's never been before!









Beat Latino
Feature photo: Kumbia Queers, courtesy of the artist

Beat Latino on | 16.08.2014

We love the cumbia! North or south, no matter from which side of the border and all around the world, the cumbia has been the musical heartbeat of Latino music for the better part of several centuries! Our 21st century has its own flavors of cumbia, and that's what this week's Beat Latino is all about!







Beat Latino
Feature photo: Monica Giraldo, courtesy of Yemeni Vega

Beat Latino on | 09.08.2014

It's an unpredictable mix of magical tunes, on this weeks Beat Latino, as we explore new music from Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, México and more! Whether from the past to the avant-garde, tango to trova, from electronica to flamenco to punk mariachi, we've got your beat! Enjoy!







Beat Latino
Feature photo: Danay Suárez, courtesy of the Artist

Beat Latino on | 02.08.2014

We love international hip hop, especially in the Latino flavors! This hour's Beat Latino is dedicated front and center to the wonderful chicas that rhyme and rap their way into our hearts and souls. Whether Danay Suárez from Cuba, Ana Tijoux from Chile, Niña Dioz from Mexico, Mala Rodríguez from Spain and many more, these women are the new poets of this generation. Enjoy!






Beat Latino
Feature photo: Fés by Catalina María Johnson

Beat Latino on | 26.07.2014

The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music has justifiably been named one of the top ten music festivals in the world as well as a transcendent experience. It is certainly one of my favorites! Everything is right about Féz- the natural beauty of arguably one of the most beautiful cities on our planet nestled in the mountains, the millenary Medina and it's labyrinthian times of quiet and bustle, and the wondrous music from all parts of the world that is curated and shared especially to make us aware we are all one and we are all in this together.

This year's theme of the "Conference of the Birds" based on an epic Persian poem, really brought that idea home, as the festival truly played out the fable of the birds, each with their song, all together in adventure as well as trials and tribulations, taking a journey to find the power and majesty in joining their diverse songs.

Enjoy the music and take a trip to Fés with Beat Latino!






Beat Latino
Feature photo: LAMC courtesy of the festival

Beat Latino on | 19.07.2014

What a quinceañera celebration! The LAMC 2014 was five days of panels, interviews, and most importantly music, music, music, MUSIC! Beat Latino was there in the middle of it all, and this hour's edition shares music by the artists we experienced. We've come a long way, baby!






Beat Latino
Feature photo: Boogat in concert at Montreal Jazz Fest/Catalina Maria Johnson

Beat Latino on | 12.07.2014

It was a wonderful time in Montreal, experiencing the International Jazz Fest in all its summer splendor! The Latino community in Canada is relatively new, but beginning to gain visibility in terms of its cultural offerings. This hour's Beat Latino shares music by some of the amazing artists one could experience live (and many of these we did!) in the 10-day, 800-concert music-avaganza in the lovely boulevards of the downtown area of Montreal. Enjoy!






Beat Latino
Feature photo: Ricardo Lemvo, courtesy of the artist

Beat Latino on | 21.06.2014

Wow! This month's new music is an amazingly eclectic and wondrous set of tunes. Trance amazonic with Argentina's Chancha Via Circuito, check out Toronto songstress Alejandra Ribera and her intriguing, quirky tunes, go acoustic and pensive with Colombia's Monica Giraldo, tango with Ruben Blades (yes you read that correctly), Panama's Ruben takes Pedro Navaja to the streets of Buenos Aires! Or just shake a tail feather (or three or four) with Ricardo Lemvo's newest Rumba SoYo. And as Latinos we can claim it all! Such cultural riches are ours to be had... Enjoy!






Beat Latino
Photo: Amanda Martínez; By Doug Dicken

Beat Latino on | 14.06.2014

The weather is getting warmer, and all our thoughts on Beat Latino turn to...dancing! ¡A bailar se ha dicho! Here's this week's selection of oldies but goodies about shaking our bodies to the beat, as well as some marvelous new tunes from Uruguay's Jorge Drexler, Argentina's Cinneplex, Canada/Mexico/South Africa's Amanda Martinez and much, much more! #dancedancedance!






Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 07.06.2014

It's that time again! Beat Latino celebrates our passion for fútbol with a mighty official selection of music for the occasion! Viva el fútbol! Enjoy! Here's music shared with much hope for a future where we balance the benefit for the sport as much as the benefit for the land! Viva Brazil!






Beat Latino
Photo: Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta; Credit: Jennifer Kotting

Beat Latino on | 31.05.2014

This summer in Chicago is sizzzzzzling hot, musically speaking! And a good thing, since our winter was quite awful. Well, no worries, we are making up for it with some amazing music from all over coming our way - so here's the low down... We'll have music from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Africa, Chicano music, rap, rumba flamenca, hip hop, trance, latintronica and of course cuuuuuuuumbia! How's that for a summer full of music? World-class music for our world-class city. Enjoy!






Beat Latino
Photograph: Catalina Maria Johnson

Beat Latino on | 17.05.2014

This week Beat Latino takes a trip to deep in the heart of Texas, to Austin where the Pachanga Latino Music Festival has taken place annually for seven years.

This year's line-up was truly amazing! As founder Rich Garza has noted, the festival is a state of the union of Latino music today, and in one day, we had a chance to see La Vida Boheme from Venezuela, Niña Dioz and El Gran Silencio from Monterrey, Nuevo León, Making Movies from Kansas City, and much more --- Latino music from both sides of the border and Latin America!

Come enjoy the pachanga with us at Fiesta Gardens at the Pachanga Music Festival in Austin!






Beat Latino
Photo: Victor Cucart

Beat Latino on | 10.05.2014

Beat Latino is all about celebrating new music this week! Such exciting nuevas rolas! From the delicate jazz plus flamenco from Mexico and Spain (Magos Herrera and Javier Limón) to Swiss Balkan cumbia (yes you read that ritht! Jaro Milko and the Cubalkanics) to Austin, Texas electro-Venezuelan hip hop funk (Cilantro Boombox) it is a treat to share the amazingly unpredictable range of music from the Latin and Latino universe! Enjoy.






Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 03.05.2014

Beat Latino celebrates the 5 de Mayo! ¡Viva el 5 de mayo! Mexican-rooted, U.S. grown music. Tunes from all over our land - from the songstress Gina Chavez in Austin, Texas to Sandra Lilia Velasquez in New York to Chicago's Sones de Mexico Ensemble, it's Mexico in the U.S. of A. for this week's Beat Latino. Enjoy!






Beat Latino
Photo: Yasmin Levy; Credit: Ali Taskiran

Beat Latino on | 20.04.2014

This hour's selection for Beat Latino highlights contemporary music as well as pieces over 500 years old, beautiful, complex melodies which have kept alive the romance language of Ladino, language of the Iberian Jews expulsed in 1492 from their homeland Sefarad. From Ladino folk songs to Sephardic Jazz to Ladino Rock, this hour of El Beat Latino features unforgettable music from an unforgotten land.






Beat Latino
Cover of "up.rooted", Gina Chávez' new album

Beat Latino on | 05.04.2014

This week, Beat Latino shares new Latino music from around the globe- whether in Colombia, San Francisco, Brooklyn or Cuba, Latinos continue to amaze us as they explore what it means to musically express our shared cultural legacy.

Ani Cordero revisits Latin American music from the XX century that marked social and political transitions: Cuban Alfredo Rodriguez takes on a classic tango giving it a jazzy new dress; London-based Cineplexx spins dreamy soundscapes with fellow-Argentinean Natalia Clavier's help. It's an indefinable, indescribable, always surprising hour of sounds - just like us. Enjoy!






Beat Latino
Photo: Luci and the Soul Brokers

Beat Latino on | 29.03.2014

This week Beat Latino goes to Panama City! An hour of music celebrating the Panama Jazz Festival, where we had a chance to also chat with founder of the Festival and master jazz pianist and composer Danilo Pérez, Panamanian folklorist accordionist Osvaldo Ayala and maestro rumbero Román Díaz from Cuba. It's all about the power and magic of music to transform lives and societies. Enjoy!






Beat Latino
Photo: Alika by Catalina Maria Johnson

Beat Latino on | 22.03.2014

Here's a special edition of Beat Latino dedicated to SXSW 2014 music! It was truly a year to remember at the acclaimed Austin, Texas festival. SXSW may have gone too corporate and Lady Gaga for some folks, but the 5 day music-avaganza is still for Beat Latino a unique opportunity to discover and savor indie sounds of every kind and beat from all over Latin America, the Latino U.S.A. and Spain as well as Brazil. Enjoy!







Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 08.03.2014

This hour of Beat Latino is dedicated to Paco de Lucía, one of the greatest flamenco musicians and guitarists of recent times. Paco spoke volumes with his music, and he did so without a single word. Through his guitar, his hands told exquisite stories in a language forged in Spain by gypsies contact with Moorish and Sephardic vocabulary. He will be sorely missed. Adios, maestro, y gracias.






Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 01.03.2014

The month of February marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first stepping foot on this side of the Altantic, and this weeks Beat Latino celebrates the Fab 4's effect on music and the world. From mariachi to bossa to rock en español, the Beatles' tunes adapted to almost any musical context it seems, evidence of the qualities that have made the Liverpool lads the legends they are until today. Enjoy this magical Latin Mystery Tour!



Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 08.02.2014

This week's Beat Latino explores songs from the past and present that speak to who we are. How do we identify ourselves? Who tells our story? Where do we say we come from? So, here's a special selection from all over the Americas that sings about a few possibilities. We have expressed regional pride (Soy de Durango), sung of our immigrant status (Emigrante Latino), our mestizo heritage (Soy Mexicoamericano), our shared heritage with others (Soy latino) and much, much more. And we end the show with a question - ¿Quíen Soy? Who am I?

Here's to telling your own story, in words and songs of your own choice! And of course, dance all the while doing so! Enjoy!



Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 01.02.2014

This special edition of Beat Latino pays homage to the infinite ways in which as a committed human being, a musician and an activist, Pete Seeger transformed our world in his 94 years of lifetime. He was well aware of many of the political mishaps in our Americas, and to remedy that, in addition to concrete actions, he sang many of our songs in Spanish. Rest in peace, Maestro.







Beat Latino
photo: Aruán Ortiz

Beat Latino on | 25.01.2014



This week's Beat Latino goes to New York City, to bring you the sounds of APAP 2104 (The American Association of Art's Presenters annual conference) a frantic, frenzied and amazing 5 days or so of amongst other things, lots and lots of music. From Winter Jazzfest to globalFest to showcases galore, it's a wonderful way to take the musical pulse of things to come. Enjoy!




Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 11.01.2014

Here in Chicago, it's been about the Polar Vortex! So in honor of snow, cold and things related, this week's Beat Latino takes you to the hot, hot side of snow - whether it's songs about cold hearts, ice cream and snowy, icy things, here are some melodies to warm your heart in wintertime!







Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 04.01.2014

Nuestra música had an amazing year in 2014, whether the beats were traditional or avant-garde, Latino artists on the side of every border created music to warm our souls, lift our spirits, transport us to beautiful soundscapes or simply set our bodies dancing! Beat Latino this week shares just a taste of the wild ride we had and will continue to have in the near future as our music continues to surprise with #latinpsychedelia #cumbiaforever #Perurediscovered #Ecuadorrising #Argentineansoundscapes #womenwild #bilingualbilingüe #punkhardsalsa #UKfusions




Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 28.12.2013

Our 2013 recap, part 1, is all about the musical feminine- no doubt, it was a Beat Latino year for the ladies! Divine, fierce, wild and wonderful - their voices soared, rapping and rhyming, crooning, sighing, lamenting, celebrating in song...we really loved the amazing music the chicas malas and mujeres divinas brought to our lives in 2013. ¡En el 2013, las chicas rifaron!






Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 21.12.2013

It's the Beat Latino Christmas special! There just seems to be no end of songs we create about Christmas, whether it's the celebrating and other traditions, or the month of December, or just our unique stamp on the classics. There's a little bit of all of that and more, in this year's Beat Latino Navidad special. So, sit back and let the music transport you to new places for the holidays...Whether it's the soaring, smoky voice of Guatemala's Gaby Moreno in an austere and elegant version of the Little Drummer Boy, the soulful twang of David Garza's guitar in a rich, textured version of Silent Night, Puerto Rican cuatro masters such as Yomo Toro or even a rockabilly rockin' Christmas tune from Argentina - there's something for all kinds of celebrations. Here's wishing you a wonderful holiday season!



Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 14.12.2013

What really defines us as Latinos? And what defines our music? That can be a difficult question to answer, but that's a very good thing. A recap of some recently created music truly defies categorizing! So we start this Beat Latino with Spanish rockeros Jarabe de Palo "Somos"--We are--and what we are includes: jazzy punked-up cumbia from Belgium via Colombia (La Chiva Gantiva), psychedelic salsa from Brooklyn via Peru and Latin America (La Mecánica Popular), U.K.-based Wara delivering cosmopolitan Cuban-riffs propelled by a Nigerian-Argentinean vocalist, beautifully lyrical indigenous-flavored jazz from a Colombian-U.S. bassist known as Snow Owl--all of this, and more. Enjoy!



Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 07.12.2013

 It was a wonderful year for fierce women in the indie and alternative Latin and Latino music, and the Latin Grammy's were evidence of it all! From "Best Alternative Album" winner Natalia Lafourcade to "Best Urban Album" for Mala Rodriguez to awesome nominees like Afro-flamenca Buika and Colombian hip songstress Andrea Echeverri - Beat Latino's edition this week rounds them all up for you, along with other amazing tunes such as winners for "Best Instrumental Album" Bajofondo (pictured), for this year's Latin Grammy Recap. Enjoy!







Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 30.11.2013


It's Thanksgiving Weekend, and this week's Beat Latino is all about saying "gracias", and the tunes that thanks love, life, family, the fans, music and more! And mil gracias for listening to Beat Latino! I am thankful to get to share the music with you!







Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 16.11.2013

This special hour of Beat Latino brings a full spectrum of freedom songs - ballads, salsa, rock en español and hip hop that speaks to a wide variety of society´s situations that need to be addressed: war, violence, revolution, poverty, homeless children and unfortunately, even more - from a history which includes poet activists suffering for their words and songs, to our present day rappers and rockers that comment on violence in our communities, Latinos have been singing freedom songs for a long time.

Nevertheless, the music is hopeful and even danceable - cause even a Revolution needs to find its rhythms! So sing and dance your way to a better world!


Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 09.11.2013

Back to Cardiff, Wales, again for another special episode of Beat Latino, taped live at Womex 13. This week we visit with Lokkhi Terra, a U.K.-based ensemble that mashes up Bangladeshi beats with Cuban grooves; members of Flamenco Eléctrico who drive traditional Spanish rhythms into a 21st century format, and a maestro who has spent 44 years putting the world to dance to Cuban rhythms- Juan Formell from Los Van Van, Womex 13 Artist Award! Enjoy!





Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 05.10.2013

What is it about Autumn that makes it such a special time? There's a chill in the air, the leaves begin to fall, and it seems to be a time to remember days and loves gone by. This hour of Beat Latino is a musical tribute to that time of year- a selection of tunes, from all over the America's and Spain to celebrate Otoño - enjoy Beat Latino's Autumn Song!






Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 28.09.2013

Why do we like sad music? There was even an article in the New York Times recently as to this mystery of feeling better after listening to sad music. So, this week it's time to sing those blues away on Beat Latino! What better way to get rid of sadness than to sing and dance about it? It's a show with songs that say "hola, sadness" but that becomes an "adios, sadness" on Beat Latino!






Beat Latino

Beat Latino on | 21.09.2013

This week is a very special edition of Beat Latino, a homage to the eternal spirit of art, the power music and its possibility to transform society. Forty years ago, Chile was plunged into decades of dictatorship in a military coup that also took poet activist and singer/songwriter Victor Jara's life. This week's Beat Latino is a musical tribute to Victor Jara and the enduring spirit of Chile's music, which has emerged from those dark times. ¡Viva Victor Jara! !Viva Chile! And long live Chilean music!