Latin Roots: Bachata, Latin Music's Underdog, Grows Up

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9 min 3 sec
 
Marino Perez, one of bachata early greats, helped to bring the genre into the mainstream with his darkly funny songs. i i
Courtesy of the artist
Marino Perez, one of bachata early greats, helped to bring the genre into the mainstream with his darkly funny songs.
Courtesy of the artist

SET LIST

  • Marino Perez, "O La Pago Yo O La Paga Ella"
  • Antony Santos, "Ay Mujer"
  • Juan Luis Guerra, "Burbujas de Amor"
  • Romeo Santos featuring Usher, "Promise"

We've heard from Alt. Latino co-host Felix Contreras in the past, but here we'll hear from the show's other half, Jasmine Garsd. Garsd was raised in Buenos Aires and connected with the Argentine rock scene in her teens. She moved to the U.S. after high school, an experience which exposed her to American music; she now co-hosts Alt.Latino, a weekly show on NPR Music which explores music from all over the Western hemisphere.

On this episode of World Cafe, Garsd and host David Dye discuss bachata music. Garsd explains that bachata was an underdog in the music world, shunned in the Dominican Republic in the '60s and '70s. By the '80s, bachata became more mainstream, as artists fused it with electric guitars and other pop sounds. Garsd discusses the evolution of bachata and the artists who played it — including Romeo Santos, whose most recent album features Usher.

Listen to Jasmine Garsd's essential Bachata playlist on Spotify.

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