[14 Nov 2014 ]
‘Global Village’ Goes To Mexico: 4 Songs That Fuse Style And Tradition

DJ Betto Arcos — host of KPFK’s Global Village, L.A. man about town, and intrepid traveler — joins NPR’s Arun Rath from time to time to share music from around the world. This time around, Arcos brings All Things Considered four songs from Mexico, including tracks from a contemporary singer-songwriter who blends styles from all across Latin and Central America with poetic lyrics and an 11-member fusion group from Xalapa, invested both in promoting peace and spreading “son jarocho,” the traditional roots music of Veracruz. Hear their conversation at the …

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[14 Nov 2014 ]
How one band from Mexico addresses the violence in its hometown

Los Aguas Aguas first album, called Easy and Tropical Machine carried an upbeat “party-on” message, says bass player Danny Cruz. “Take it easy, just chill out, everything is going to be fine. Just dance and your problems will take care of themselves.”
But in the past couple years, violence has increased around them and the band admits they became numb to all the bad news. Guitarist and singer Demiss Arenal says when he heard about a neighbor or someone’s friend being killed, all he’d say was “poor thing” and move on.
“We …

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[14 Nov 2014 ]
El Teatro Campesino’s Mission Remains As Its Stages Grow

The California theater company was born on the picket lines of the United Farm Workers Movement; its mission is to dramatize the struggles of everyday people and bring the stories to a wider audience.

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The struggles of everyday people have been the focus of California’s El Teatro Campesino for nearly half a century. The theater company was born on the picket lines of the United Farmworkers Movement in 1965, and has …

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[14 Nov 2014 ]
‘Global Village’ Presents New Collaborations In Latin Music

World music DJ Betto Arcos joins NPR’s Arun Rath once again this weekend on All Things Considered to share some of the music he’s been spinning on Global Village, the show he hosts on KPFK in Los Angeles. This time around, Arcos presents four collaborations between female singers and guitarists, a list that includes a duo re-imagining traditional Mexican music, jazz crooners and more. Hear his conversation with NPR’s Arun Rath at the audio link above.
New Collaborations From Around The World
Artist: Cascada de Flores
Album: Radio Flor
Song: Claveles

Artist: Magos & Limon
Album: …

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[14 Nov 2014 ]
Why music from the Balkans is booming in Mexico

Ten years ago, at a spontaneous jam session at the Mexico City home of accordionist Marina de Ita, the band Polka Madre was born — by accident.

“We were not professional musicians,” de Ita remembers. “We were not studying as the others that came from the conservatories, we just wanted to jam and play, so we started the band together. And then we met Enrique, the clarinet player, in Coyoacán. He was busking. He used to play more jazz and bossa nova, but the sound, he sounded like this klezmer clarinet player so we invited …

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[14 Nov 2014 ]
Finding The Anthropology In Latin Dance Music

Jorge Drexler‘s songs have been called introspective and literate. He’s been compared to Paul Simon. But a couple years ago, the Uruguayan musician began to wonder what it would take to write dance-oriented music. That’s the assignment he gave himself on his latest album, Bailar en la Cueva, or “dancing in the cave.”
“I decided to start this record from the feet and from the movement centers in the body,” Drexler says. The idea, he explains, was to shift focus “away from what was easy for me, writing from and about …