NPR : World Cafe

Latin Roots: The Lasting Fad Of Boogaloo

Play associated audio

Today's episode of Latin Roots features Felix Contreras, co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's online music program about Latin Alternative music. Also a reporter and producer for NPR's Arts Desk, Contreras specializes in jazz, world music and Latino arts and culture. A part-time musician who plays Afro-Cuban percussion in several Latin and jazz bands, Contreras is uniquely qualified to discuss Latin Alternative music. In today's episode, he speaks about boogaloo, how it developed and how it impacts Latin music today.

Contreras explains that boogaloo is considered the first Nuyorican music. It developed in the late '50s and early '60s as the result of Puerto Ricans and Cubans listening to both the folk music of their parents' generation and contemporary pop and R&B. Contreras discusses the culturally significant songs "Watermelon Man," "El Watusi" and "The Oohs." He also describes the conflicts within the Latin music community that arose from the boogaloo movement, how boogaloo faded out and how it lives on, in some ways, even today.

Hear Felix Contreras' essential boogaloo playlist on Spotify.

Copyright 2012 WXPN-FM. To see more, visit http://www.xpn.org/.

NPR

A Modern 'Roots' For An American Society Still 'Based On The Color Line'

The remake of the seminal TV miniseries begins on the History channel Monday night. Co-producer LeVar Burton says he recognized an opportunity to retell the story "to and for a new generation."
NPR

'Sweetbitter' Is A Savory Saga Of Restaurant Life And Love

Oysters, cocaine, fine wine, love triangles: Stephanie Danler's debut novel Sweetbitter follows a year in the life of a young woman working at a top-tier Manhattan restaurant.
NPR

Illinois General Assembly Works To Resolve Budget Impasse

Fallout continues from the standoff between the Republican governor and Democrats — focused heavily on the future of unions. And Tuesday is a key deadline to see if a resolution can be reached.
NPR

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, She Channeled Her Ups And Downs Into Texts

NPR's Scott Simon talks with Natalie Sun about her project, textingwithcancer.com. The website won a Webby award, and documents her pessimism and optimism while undergoing chemotherapy.

Leave a Comment

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