Women Are Instrumental To Latin Music : Alt.Latino We dive back in time to understand the roles women have occupied in Latin music, and look forward at the artists blazing new trails — pushing progress for both female instrumentalism and the entirety of Latin music.

Women Are Instrumental To Latin Music

Women Are Instrumental To Latin Music

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Melissa Aldana, a saxophone wielding chingona, included among this week's female instrumentalists. Holis King/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Holis King/Courtesy of the artist

Melissa Aldana, a saxophone wielding chingona, included among this week's female instrumentalists.

Holis King/Courtesy of the artist

Latin music has a history of disenfranchising women. They're often placed behind the mic or in the background — assuming they're allowed to participate at all. As we approach the end of Women's History Month, we've invited some artists who have defied expectations and made a name for themselves alongside their instruments: multi-instrumentalist Silvina Moreno, guitarist Eljuri, saxophonist Melissa Aldana and Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato. We also talk to Silvana Estrada, a life-long multi-instrumentalist whose career has been vocal-centered.

Professor Frances Aparicio also joins the podcast to explain the cultural and social implications of varied female participation in Latin music. She offers a sense of how thoroughly social norms and expectations bleed into musical participation — illustrating how female instrumentalists like these, who keep pushing forward and subverting the mold, will shape the future.

The importance of the accomplishments of these instrumentalists, for Latin music and la cultura, cannot be understated.


Eljuri, "Nunca Volveré"

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Silvina Moreno, "Esperanza"

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Melissa Aldana, "Visions"

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Silvana Estrada, "Carta"

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Cristina Pato, "Saeta/Pan Piper"

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