NPR : World Cafe

Y La Bamba On 'World Cafe: Next'

Play associated audio

Hailing from the rain-soaked, indie folk hub that is Portland, Ore., the members of Y La Bamba are pretty far from their Latin inspirations. But this pop outfit is centered around the powerful, otherworldly vocals of Luz Elena Mendoza, and some of her main influences came from a childhood in Mexico — accordions, mariachi and Latin rhythms. She brought together a group of like-minded folk musicians after showcasing her commanding style at local open mics. The sextet, named in part after Mendoza's cat Bamba, released its debut in 2010.

In February, Y La Bamba released its follow-up, the rich and multicultural Court The Storm. This 11-track collection draws on dazzling vocal harmonies, gutsy Latin beats and a range of pop and jazz influences. Y La Bamba's skillfully blended fusion of styles and ability to unite tradition and pop have been earning the young group some well-deserved buzz. Featured as this week's World Cafe: Next band, Y La Bamba is sure to be around for some time to come.

Copyright 2012 WXPN-FM. To see more, visit


Anne Carson's Poetry Collection 'Float' In Unconventional Medium To Suit The Message

Anne Carson's book of poems come in a clear plastic box where they 'float,' which is also the title of her new collection. NPR's Scott Simon talks with the poet about her work.

Migrants Work To Hold Onto Latin Food History In Gentrifying D.C. Neighborhood

A restaurant in Washington D.C. that has long been a haven for Central American immigrants is adapting to gentrification in the neighborhood.

Clinton Strategy: Is It Worth Reaching For Traditionally Republican States?

NPR's Scott Simon talks to Bill Burton, former National Press Secretary for the Obama '08 Presidential Campaign, about whether Hillary Clinton should pursue votes in these states to build on her lead.

Video Game Voice Actors Strike To Demand Restructured Contracts For Today's Industry

The video game industry faces a strike by actors who provide voices for characters. Scott Simon talks to voice actor Jen Hale about her frustration with the way voice actors are currently paid.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.