The Romantic (And Still Relevant) Sound Of Bolero

The now-defunct Puerto Rican and Dominican American group Aventura. i i

The now-defunct Puerto Rican and Dominican American group Aventura. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist
The now-defunct Puerto Rican and Dominican American group Aventura.

The now-defunct Puerto Rican and Dominican American group Aventura.

Courtesy of the artist

Songs Heard In This Story

Los Panchos, "Arrancame La Vida"

Jose Feliciano, "El Reloj"

Aventura, "Su Veneno (Version Bolero)"

It's February, and that means Valentine's Day is just around the corner. For Weekend Edition Sunday, that's as good an excuse as any to talk about love — and in particular, one of the great traditional forms of the love song, the bolero. Jasmine Garsd and Felix Contreras of Alt.Latino, NPR Music's Latin-alternative podcast, join host Rachel Martin to share some favorite examples.

"While each Latino culture has its own musical traditions, instruments and even songwriting style, the bolero is the one Spanish-language song form that is pretty much pan Latin," Contreras says. "Boleros are love songs at their core, but they are so much more. They deal in death, religion, despair, hope and la lucha: the struggle of living."

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