For Black History Month, Celebrate Afro-Latino Music With Smithsonian Folkways : Alt.Latino With Folkways curator Dan Sheehy as a guide, Alt.Latino explores how the music of West Africa has influenced Latin America and the Caribbean.
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For Black History Month, Celebrate Afro-Latino Music With Smithsonian Folkways

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For Black History Month, Celebrate Afro-Latino Music With Smithsonian Folkways

For Black History Month, Celebrate Afro-Latino Music With Smithsonian Folkways

For Black History Month, Celebrate Afro-Latino Music With Smithsonian Folkways

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This week we feature Quetzal's The Eternal Getdown and other Afro-Latino music from Smithsonian Folkways. Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways hide caption

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Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways

This week we feature Quetzal's The Eternal Getdown and other Afro-Latino music from Smithsonian Folkways.

Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways

As part of our celebration of Black History Month and Afro-Latino culture, we turn this week to how the influence of Africa has been interpreted in various Latin and Caribbean cultures. The music of West Africa, where a majority of those enslaved in the Americas came from, was diffused through both an indigenous and Spanish filter to become the distinct sounds and rhythms that we know today.

Cumbia, bachata, mambo and son jarocho are all quite distinct from each other and are still very vibrant expressions of tradition. But, more importantly, they also inform and influence a tidal wave of new expression, mixing with hip-hop, electronic, rock and jazz to form the musical bedrock of Alt.Latino.

In this week's show, we dive into the vaults of Smithsonian Folkways, the non-profit record label dedicated to American folk traditions of all kinds. Our guide is Folkways curator emeritus Dan Sheehy, who knows a thing or two about Afro-Latino music and culture: He has traveled extensively to produce many of the great recordings in the archive.

Don't think that this music and these recordings are dusty museum relics. Musicians throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S. make this a living, breathing document of where we come from and who we are today.

Alt.Latino's Afro-Latino Mixtape

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And while the history and musicianship of these songs are certainly worthy of intense scrutiny, don't forget that it is all basically dance music! So you can listen to the songs individually below, or boogie down with this funky mixtape, where the songs flow from one to the other for optimal dancing pleasure.

But I suggest you loosen up a little first: That traditional merengue is quite fast and will definitely challenge your hip-swaying skills.

Hear The Songs

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05Olokun y Yemayá

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    Song
    Olokun y Yemayá
    Album
    The Eternal Getdown
    Artist
    Quetzal
    Released
    1969

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Quetzal

  • Song: Olokun y Yemayá
  • from The Eternal Getdown

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Song
The Eternal Getdown
Album
The Eternal Getdown
Artist
Quetzal

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01Homenaje

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    Song
    Homenaje
    Album
    Quisqueya on the Hudson
    Artist
    Franklyn Hernández y sus Tipican Brothers
    Released
    1969

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Franklyn Hernández y sus Tipican Brothers

  • Song: Homenaje
  • from Quisqueya on the Hudson

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Song
Quisqueya on the Hudson
Album
Quisqueya on the Hudson
Artist
Franklyn Hernández y sus Tipican Brothers

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02El León

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    Song
    El León
    Album
    Viento de Agua Unplugged: Materia Prima
    Artist
    Tito Matos and Viento de Agua Unplugged
    Released
    1969

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Tito Matos and Viento de Agua Unplugged

  • Song: El León
  • from Viento de Agua Unplugged: Materia Prima

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Song
Viento de Agua Unplugged: Materia Prima
Album
Viento de Agua Unplugged: Materia Prima
Artist
Tito Matos and Viento de Agua Unplugged

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03Baila, Julia Loíza

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    Song
    Baila, Julia Loíza
    Album
    Para Todos Ustedes
    Artist
    Los Pleneros de la 21
    Released
    1969

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Los Pleneros de la 21

  • Song: Baila, Julia Loíza
  • from Para Todos Ustedes

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Para Todos Ustedes
Album
Para Todos Ustedes
Artist
Los Pleneros de la 21

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03Pedazo de Acordeón

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    Song
    Pedazo de Acordeón
    Album
    ¡Ayombe: The Heart of Colombia's Música Vallenata!
    Artist
    Ivo Diaz and Band
    Released
    1969

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Ivo and Band

  • Song: Pedazo de Acordeón
  • from ¡Ayombe: The Heart of Colombia's Música Vallenata!
  • by Ivo Diaz and Band

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¡Ayombe: The Heart of Colombia's Música Vallenata!
Album
¡Ayombe: The Heart of Colombia's Música Vallenata!
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Ivo Diaz and Band

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02Idé werere ni'ta Oshún idé werere

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    Song
    Idé werere ni'ta Oshún idé werere
    Album
    Havana & Matanzas, Cuba 1957: Bata, Bembe and Palo Songs
    Artist
    Cándido Martínez
    Released
    1969

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Cándido Martínez

  • Song: Idé werere ni'ta Oshún idé werere
  • from Havana & Matanzas, Cuba 1957: Bata, Bembe and Palo Songs
  • by Cándido Martínez

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Song
Havana & Matanzas, Cuba 1957: Bata, Bembe and Palo Songs
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Havana & Matanzas, Cuba 1957: Bata, Bembe and Palo Songs
Artist
Cándido Martínez

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02Parranda callejera

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    Song
    Parranda callejera
    Album
    ¡Parranda! Venezuelan Carnival Music
    Artist
    La Sardina de Naiguatá
    Released
    1969

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La Sardina de Naiguatá

  • Song: Parranda callejera
  • from ¡Parranda! Venezuelan Carnival Music

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¡Parranda! Venezuelan Carnival Music
Album
¡Parranda! Venezuelan Carnival Music
Artist
La Sardina de Naiguatá

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02Siquisirí

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    Song
    Siquisirí
    Album
    La Bamba: Sones Jarochos from Veracruz
    Artist
    José Gutiérrez y Los Hermanos Ochoa
    Released
    1969

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José Gutiérrez y Los Hermanos Ochoa

  • Song: Siquisirí
  • from La Bamba: Sones Jarochos from Veracruz

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La Bamba: Sones Jarochos from Veracruz
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La Bamba: Sones Jarochos from Veracruz
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José Gutiérrez y Los Hermanos Ochoa

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