Felix Contreras

Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering program about Latin Alternative music and Latino culture. It features music as well as interviews with many of the most well-known Latinx musicians, actors, filmmakers, and writers. He has hosted and produced Alt.Latino episodes from Mexico, Colombia, Cuba, and throughout the U.S. since the show started in 2010.

Previously, Contreras was a reporter and producer NPR's Arts Desk and, among other stories and projects, covered a series reported from Mexico on the musical movement called Latin Alternative; helped produce NPR's award-winning series 50 Great Voices; and reported a series of stories on the financial challenges aging jazz musicians face.

Contreras is a recovering television journalist who has worked for both NBC and Univision in Miami and California. He's a part-time musician who plays Afro-Cuban percussion with various jazz and Latin bands in the Washington, DC, area. He is also NPR Music's resident Deadhead.

La Santa Cecilia is one of those bands that makes interviews feel like just hanging out and catching up. The group's new, self-titled album is their first all-English record. They are not only bilingual and bicultural, but like so many of us, they are also multi-musical. There are a ton of different grooves on this record.

When country music legend Johnny Cash heard the heavy steel doors at Folsom Prison shut behind him on a cloudy January morning in 1968, he reportedly said, "That has the sound of permanence."

Gaby Moreno's ¡Spangled! is a collaboration with Van Dyke Parks, a music arranger who has worked from everyone from The Beach Boys to U2 to

Saxophonist, flautist and bandleader Jane Bunnett has been traveling back and forth between her home in Toronto and Cuba for over 30 years because, well, she can.

It was a big day for Spanish artists today in the nominations for the 20th annual Latin Grammys.

Every month is Latino Heritage Month on Alt.Latino, but I like to set aside some special features from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 to celebrate. We're kicking things off with a trio of interviews with musicians and a filmmaker who have three very distinct connections to Mexican music.

There has been much written about how Latino populations are developing outside of the long standing, larger concentrations on America's coasts. But there's another way to track this development beyond the U.S. Census: follow the music.

1969 was a pivotal year for music: Aretha Franklin's Soul '69, both Led Zeppelin's self-titled debut and Led Zeppelin II, Janis Joplin's I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!

The prolific and celebrated Mexican accordion player Celso Piña died Wednesday of a heart attack in his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico. He was 66 years old.

His record label, La Tuna Records, announced Piña's death on Thursday.

Piña contributed greatly to the evolution of cumbia. The Colombian folk genre has had an interesting life span since its 17th century origins and very few musicians have added to that colorful history more than Celso Piña.

Here's a statistic for you: According to Fender Guitars, women now make up 50% of all entry-level players who buy their products.

Why am I sharing that?

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