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Music, Laughter, Honey: Dayme Arocena's Secret Recipe

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Music, Laughter, Honey: Dayme Arocena's Secret Recipe

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Music, Laughter, Honey: Dayme Arocena's Secret Recipe

Music, Laughter, Honey: Dayme Arocena's Secret Recipe

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/473362861/473402320" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Cuban singer Daymé Arocena plays guest DJ on this week's episode of Alt.Latino. Steve Russell/Getty Images hide caption

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Steve Russell/Getty Images

Cuban singer Daymé Arocena plays guest DJ on this week's episode of Alt.Latino.

Steve Russell/Getty Images

When I first heard Cuban vocalist Dayme Arocena, I heard the influence of both Celia Cruz and Aretha Franklin. That may seem like an unlikely combination of inspirations, but it's not.

Arocena isn't even 25, and she's already assembled a catalog of stop-you-in-your-tracks recordings, first for the influential British radio host and producer Gilles Peterson and then as a member of Maqueque, a Cuban band assembled by Canadian saxophonist Jane Bunnett.

In this week's show, Arocena disputes the idea that Cuban performers were isolated from U.S. music for the past 50 years. The countries' give-and-take is heard in recordings that were widely available as European imports or from Latin America. If that weren't already evident in her music, it's certainly clear in Alt.Latino's conversation with her this week.

Dayme Arocena's vibrant personality is reflected not just in her powerful records, but also in this raucous interview. We had tons of fun, and we hope you do, too.

Hear The Songs

Nueva Era. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Daymé Arocena

  • Song: Sin Empezar
  • from Nueva Era
YouTube

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Song
Nueva Era
Album
Nueva Era
Artist
Daymé Arocena
Label
Brownswood
Released
2015

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Cover for Best of Nina Simone [PolyGram]

Nina Simone

  • Song: I Put a Spell on You
  • from
YouTube

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Song
Best of Nina Simone [PolyGram]
Album
Best of Nina Simone [PolyGram]
Artist
Nina Simone
Label
Verve
Released
1969

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Courtesy of the artist

La Lupe

  • Song: La Reina
  • from La Reina Del Latin Soul
YouTube

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Song
La Reina Del Latin Soul
Album
La Reina Del Latin Soul
Artist
La Lupe
Label
Like Music
Released
2012

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Celia Cruz Eterna. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Celia Cruz

  • Song: Vieja Luna
  • from Celia Cruz Eterna
YouTube

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Song
Celia Cruz Eterna
Album
Celia Cruz Eterna
Artist
Celia Cruz
Label
Luna Nueva Records
Released
2015

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Courtesy of the artist

Antonio Carlos Jobim

  • Song: Wave
  • from Wave
YouTube

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Francisco Céspedes

  • Song: Dicen
  • from Autorretrato
YouTube

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Song
Autorretrato
Album
Autorretrato
Artist
Francisco Céspedes
Label
Warner Music Latina
Released
2005

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Daymé Arocena

  • Song: Stuck
  • from One Takes
YouTube

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Song
One Takes
Album
One Takes
Artist
Daymé Arocena
Label
Brownswood
Released
2016

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