Alt.Latino Picks The Best Latin Music Of 2016 : Alt.Latino This was a year for redefining expectations and defying conventions in Latin music. Hear 10 songs that represent just some of the highlights.

Alt.Latino Picks The Best Latin Music Of 2016

Alt.Latino Picks The Best Latin Music Of 2016

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/505452781/505583617" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Y La Bamba's Luz Elena Mendoza released Ojos Del Sol this year. It's one of Alt.Latino's favorites of 2016. Gerardo Mendoza/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Gerardo Mendoza/Courtesy of the artist

Y La Bamba's Luz Elena Mendoza released Ojos Del Sol this year. It's one of Alt.Latino's favorites of 2016.

Gerardo Mendoza/Courtesy of the artist

The end of the year and the holiday season come with many traditions. If you're like us, one of those traditions is compiling a list of music that made an impression during the previous 12 months.

It seems to me that each passing year brings even more exciting music from both new and familiar names. Musicians in every style of the genre we call Latin alternative music are subtly — or not so subtly — challenging expectations and redefining musical rules.

We always have to add the caveat that these lists are merely the tip of the iceberg. If you listen back to our show over the last 12 months, you'll find great tracks that are not featured in this episode. And that's OK. The small corner of the musical industry we cover is extremely healthy and bursting with vibrant, creative and visionary musicians. (Go back and explore our past year!)

In this show, you'll hear some of the highlights, including Colombia's Sidestepper; Cuba's Omar Sosa; Tucson, Ariz.'s Orkesta Mendoza; and a trio of female vocalists who impressed me with their voices and exquisitely performed music.

I say it every year, but it's true: There is simply too much great new music to take it all in from every source. So let us help you with that — every week, right here.

Hear The Songs

São Paulo Underground. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of the artist

São Paulo Underground

  • Song: Of Golden Summer
  • from Cantos Invisiveis
YouTube

Y La Bamba, Ojos Del Sol Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of the artist

Y La Bamba

  • Song: Ojos Del Sol
  • from Ojos Del Sol
YouTube

Dom La Nena, Cantando. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of the artist

Dom La Nena

  • Song: Gracias A La Vida
  • from Cantando
YouTube

"I Love You More Than Tacos." Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of the artist

Carne Cruda

  • Song: I Love You More Than Tacos
  • from I Love You More Than Tacos
YouTube
Cover for The Beat Is Dead

Nina Diaz

  • Song: Screaming Without A Sound
  • from The Beat Is Dead
YouTube

Vamos A Guarachar Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of the artist

06Mambo A La Rosano

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/505452781/505564210" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Buy Featured Music

    Song
    Mambo A La Rosano
    Album
    ¡Vamos A Guarachar!
    Artist
    Orkesta Mendoza
    Label
    Glitterbeat Records
    Released
    2016

    Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Orkesta Mendoza

  • Song: Mambo A La Rosano
  • from ¡Vamos A Guarachar!

Sidestepper, Supernatural Love. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of the artist

Sidestepper

  • Song: La Flor Y La Voz (Parte 1)
  • from Supernatural Love
YouTube
Cover for Ilusión

Gaby Moreno

  • Song: Hermana Rosetta
  • from Ilusión
YouTube
Cover for Lola

Carrie Rodriguez

  • Song: The West Side
  • from Lola
YouTube

Eros. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of the artist

Paolo Fresu & Omar Sosa

  • Song: What Lies Ahead
  • from Eros
YouTube