Latin Roots: More To Mariachi Than You Think | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : World Cafe

Filed Under:

Latin Roots: More To Mariachi Than You Think

Chicago-based music journalist Catalina Maria Johnson curates this 14th installment of World Cafe's "Latin Roots" music series. The bilingual and bicultural journalist is of half-Swedish and half-Mexican descent, and grew up in two different cities with the name St. Louis — one in Missouri, and the other, in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. She writes in Spanish and English for publications such as HOY, Revista Contratiempo, Gozamos and Nat Geo Music. She is a regular radio personality and hosts/produces the bilingual radio program Beat Latino, which airs in Chicago, Mexico City and Berlin.

In this session, World Cafe's David Dye sits down with Johnson to discuss mariachi music. Johnson explains the origins of mariachi and how it started in Jalisco, Mexico, in the late 1800s as an ensemble of strings and horns. She says that music is a part of every Mexican family celebration and that mariachi is a living tradition in Mexico. "Every single family celebration, if there wasn't a mariachi planned, someone would say 'Oh! let's go get a mariachi,' and you'd go to the place where the mariachis hang out waiting to be contracted, particularly on festive days like Sundays and Saturday evenings," says Johnson. Today, bands mainly perform classic Mexican tunes in the mariachi ensemble style, but there is also a new movement by younger generations to mix up the genre. To exhibit this transition, Johnson plays a selection of traditional and contemporary mariachi music.

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

NPR

Doing The Hard Work Of Becoming A 'Real Man'

The process of becoming a man isn't always an easy one, but poet Saeed Jones says that reading Real Man Adventures by T Cooper, can make the journey more joyful.
NPR

These 5 Crops Are Still Hand-Harvested, And It's Hard Work

Saffron, vanilla, palm oil, cacao and cottonseed oil are still picked by hand in some parts of the world. Sometimes that manual labor shows up in the price of the food; sometimes it doesn't.
NPR

Guns Boom In 2014 Campaign Ads

Ads with candidates shooting guns are proliferating this year. It can all be traced back to Sen. Joe Manchin's famed 2010 spot "Dead Aim."
NPR

Why Do We Blindly Sign Terms Of Service Agreements?

Audie Cornish talks with University of Chicago Law School professor Omri Ben-Shahar about terms of service agreements for software and websites.

Leave a Comment

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