Copy into your RSS Reader
Copy into your Podcast App
Brazilian singer Mart'nÃ¡lia is nominated for a Latin Grammy in the category of Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album.
courtesy of the artist
November 8, 2012 We're not huge fans of the Latin Grammy Awards, but every year they call attention to a handful of gems. Here, we sift through the nominations and play you the music that most excites us, from a legendary mambo group to an up-and-coming Mexican crooner.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/164597986/164627985" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Actor Marlon Brando was an Afro-Cuban drumming enthusiast, as well as an inventor whose lost prototypes became the stuff of urban legend.
CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images
July 2, 2011 The late actor was also an amateur drummer, as well as an inventor with four patents to his credit. His lost prototypes for tuning conga drums were recently uncovered in a West Los Angeles storage facility.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/137558144/137588431" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Bill Bytsura/Courtesy of the artist
May 19, 2011 Hear a meeting of passion, storytelling, rhythm and beautiful percussion instruments, including Danilo Perez's piano, with an invitation to dance from conguero Poncho Sanchez's band.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/136474971/141425288" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Conguero Poncho Sanchez gave Frank Foster's swing classic, "Shiny Stockings," a new identity as a mambo.
Charley Gallay/Getty Images Entertainment
February 22, 2010 Jazz musicians have long mined Broadway, the Great American Songbook, and even pop music for material. Here are five Latin interpretations of songs written by jazz musicians, a process that isn't as easy as playing the chords of a jazz composition over a mambo rhythm.
Tito Puente, above playing in London, was one of the best percussionists of any era.
Simon Ritter/Redferns/Getty Images
May 26, 2009 Want a great conversation-starter with a fan of Latin jazz? Ask, "What's your favorite pairing of conga and timbales?" Many long-standing percussion duos display seemingly telepathic interplay — the intensity of a runaway train mixed with the kind of swing that makes hips move by themselves. Picking five was a chore, but here they are.
August 25, 2008 As August ends, so do the carefree days of summer. School begins, recent vacations are a fond memory and the temperature begins its slow and steady descent. Don't be sad, though: As Labor Day Weekend approaches, these songs are here to bring summer to a close on a positive note.
August 11, 2002 As part of the occasional series "Musicians in Their Own Words," Poncho Sanchez talks about his music. The Latin jazz drummer has released more than 20 albums, including the 1999 Grammy winner, Latin Soul. Features in the series are produced by David Schulman and NPR's Jeffrey Freymann-Weyr.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor