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Latin Roots: Salsa With A Twist

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  • Cortijo, "Carnaval" (La Maquina del Tiempo)
  • Bio Ritmo, "Carnaval" (La Verdad)

Today, World Cafe kicks off the new series Latin Roots, with Latin music expert Aaron Luis Levinson. Levinson visits host David Dye in WXPN's studios to share his take on all things salsa: the music, the beat and the culture. Levinson, a member of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, is a Grammy-winning producer, musician, composer and owner of Range Recording Studios in Ardmore, Penn.

In this session, Levinson defines salsa, from its roots in Cuba and Puerto Rico to its influences from jazz and the big-band era. He shares two salsa tracks, as well — two versions of the song "Carnaval," recorded decades apart. The first is by Cortijo; the latter is by the Virginia-based salsa supergroup Bio Ritmo.

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