Category: Music

When Music Changes Lives

English + Español
n 2004, I got a surprising phone call from Santo Domingo on one cold winter night. I was then studying musical composition in Strasbourg, France, a great opportunity for a young Dominican…

The Politics of Gay Marriage in Latin America

Despite its recent successes, the gay rights movement in Latin America is generally ignored in discussions of contemporary Latin American politics. Even students of Latin American social…

The Yaquis and the Empire

Winner of the 2015 Latin American Studies Association Social Science Book Award and runner-up for the 2015 David J. Weber-Clements Prize of the Western History Association, The Yaquis…

Beyond Bolaño: The Global Latin American Novel

I often wonder what life would have held for the late Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño if he had not passed away due to liver complications more than a decade ago. This year he would have…

Notes on Mexican Rock

English + Español
Since the 1960s, there’s been a booming underground rock scene in Mexico. It defines itself as countercultural, but not in absolute opposition to the mainstream—although sometimes it…

Nature’s Sonorous Politics

English + Español
There’s no indigenous political movement in Andean Peru. This, at least, has been the consensus view of scholars since the 1990s, when protests organized by indigenous parties shook the…

Musical Identity

English + Español
Frankly, I’m not used to talking about myself, and even less writing about myself. My way of expressing myself has been through musical notes, whether the buoyant Cuban clave rhythms…

Dominican Bachata

English + Español
Ask kids in any U.S. urban middle school if they know who Romeo is. They’ll likely respond with an enthusiastic yes, but their answer will not refer to the Romeo in Shakespeare’s classic play…

Dancing with the Devil in the City of God

Juliana Barbassa and I have similar stories. We are both Brazilian with a chronic case of wanderlust, but in some ways on opposite tracks: Barbassa is from Rio and I am from São Paulo…

Musical Slums

The small bus was trudging up the almost vertical hill, swerving sharply to the left to let off the passengers. The street where I got off was littered with electric cords and big piles of…

Teatro del Lago

Teatro del Lago in Frutillar in the south of Chile offers spectacular views of lakes and volcanoes. This natural setting has attracted international and Chilean artists, ranging from Yo Yo Ma to Gil…

Regional Mexican Music

Mexico’s port city of Veracruz was alive with music the week before Carnaval. Musicians, dancers, and audiences popped up on street corners, parks, and in driveways. Maybe it was the…

Polkas in Paraíba

We pull up to the small pink house perched at the top of a steep, cobblestoned incline. It seems to float above the verdant Pernambucan hills, a jagged melody wafting from the wrought-iron…

Palenque Rhythms

San Basilio Palenque, not far from Colombia’s prime tourist destination of Cartagena, is the only surviving example of places that once existed throughout the country—communities founded…

The Opportunity to Live a Life in Music

In the cobbled streets of Cartagena, where the sea meets with a land vibrant in history and beauty, music—in particular classical music—has become a protagonist during nine days of…

New Life for the Violin in Mexico’s Hotlands

Once upon a time, the music of Tierra Caliente was hidden treasure—wild and charismatic violin melodies lifted up by guitar chords, rooted in driving bass runs, and punctuated by varied…

Musical Transitions

Cuban singer-songwriter Luis Barbería’s album, A Full, was awarded the prize for best album in Cuba’s annual music awards, Cubadisco in May 2015. Vocal group Sexto Sentido, the jazz piano…

Mauricio Kagel and Electroacoustic Music

When Mauricio Kagel returned to his native Buenos Aires in 2006, 111 cyclists greeted the avant-garde composer by performing his theatrical composition, “Eine Brise.” The festival in his honor…

Music for Social Change

When Danilo Pérez Urriola, a salsa singer in Panama, decided to study pedagogy in the 1960s, he faced a difficult challenge: a teaching internship in Colón, one of the poorest cities of the…

A Magical Journey

I got my first guitar from a classmate in 1967 at age 17 in my last high school year at Liceo Vargas Calvo high school in San José, Costa Rica. I paid thirty colones (around five or six dollars) and…

Loading

Filter Articles

  • Categories

  • Countries

  • Themes