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Alt.Latino
Saturdays from 6:30 to 7 p.m.

Every week, Alt.Latino introduces listeners to new artists shaping the sound of Latin music. From Mexican American R&B darling Omar Apollo to Dominican Dembow game-changer Tokischa and everyone in between, the show's one-on-one interviews with artists use music as a tool for exploring the history and culture of Latin America and what creates a shared Latinx identity.

Felix Contreras and Anamaria Sayre's discussion of music and culture reflects their shared experiences as Mexican Americans and explores the generational differences that inform their identities. Alt.Latino listeners actively contribute to these conversations and share their thoughts on music, politics, literature and cultural identity via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Felix and Ana are also frequently heard on NPR programs, where they speak to millions of listeners about the latest in Latin alternative music and the experiences of Latinxs in the United States and abroad.

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Past Episodes
  • As the chill remains in the air for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere and the heat of summer warms up the South, we take time to listen to new music from both parts of the world.Felix Contreras and Anamaria Sayre round up their favorite new music, including Southern Cone rock and cumbia, atmospheric vocals from the U.S. and even some delicate yet emotionally powerful music from the Catalan region of Spain.Audio for this episode of Alt.Latino was edited and mixed by Joaquin Cotler. Hazel Cills is the podcast editor and digital editor for Alt.Latino and our project manager is Grace Chung. NPR Music's executive producer is Suraya Mohamed. Our VP of Music and Visuals is Keith Jenkins.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • Nothing captures the agony of love, loss, hope and redemption like the song form known across all of Latin America: the bolero.Last December, UNESCO declared the bolero "an intangible cultural heritage of humanity" and "an indispensable part of the Latin American sentimental song." And given that Valentine's Day is coming up, Felix Contreras and Anamaria Sayre did something special this week, in honor of this news: they asked some of their favorite artists and show listeners to share their most-loved boleros, and break down exactly what makes them so special. Join Felix and Ana as they laugh, cry and sing a little to the love songs of the ages.And be sure to check out the playlists we made for this episode, feature Ana and Felix's picks, as well as the selections from featured artists and listeners, on Spotify and Apple Music.Audio for this episode of Alt.Latino was edited and mixed by Joaquin Cotler. Hazel Cills is the podcast editor and digital editor for Alt.Latino and our project manager is Grace Chung. NPR Music's executive producer is Suraya Mohamed. Our VP of Music and Visuals is Keith Jenkins.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • Vocalist Ana Tijoux has been a frequent guest on Alt.Latino. That's because ever since her US debut, 1977, was released in 2010, Tijoux had been at the forefront of Latin music that celebrates creative innovation, themes of social justice and fierce independence.In this week's episode the Chilean musician talks to Felix Contreras and Anamaria Sayre about why that spirit of innovation has been more or less silent for the last 10 years, and how her new album, Vida, is not only a chance to catch up, but also a deeply moving look back. Audio for this episode of Alt.Latino was edited and mixed by Joaquin Cotler, with production support from Suraya Mohamed and Isabella Gomez Sarmiento. Hazel Cills is the podcast editor and digital editor for Alt.Latino and our project manager is Grace Chung. Our VP of Music and Visuals is Keith Jenkins.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • In the earliest days of the show, Alt.Latino's mailbox was usually piled high with CDs of new music from both emerging and well-known artists.Now, Felix Contreras and Anamaria Sayre's email and social media accounts continue to open up new musical worlds at Alt.Latino and — in turn — all of you. The show starts 2024 with some great tracks from names you may know and a couple of bands that Felix and Ana think deserve wider recognition.Audio for this episode of Alt.Latino was edited and mixed by Joaquin Cotler, with production support from Suraya Mohamed. Hazel Cills is the podcast editor and digital editor for Alt.Latino. Our VP of Music and Visuals is Keith Jenkins.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • While 2022 may have been a year completely dominated by a certain sad summer reggaeton album, 2023 drew its power from a set of familiar sounds that took on new prominence: tubas, accordions and a whole lot of lively, sneakily danceable beats. As we've been talking about on Alt.Latino for some time, Mexican Regional music broke through in a big way this year, and we found it incredible to witness the most boisterous and uncompromising sounds from that long tradition make their way across the world and to the top of the charts. A strong feeling of authenticity to place and experience was palpable across the spectrum of Latin albums released in 2023, from the most popular to those deserving of more attention. To review all there was to love about Spanish-language music this year, hosts Felix Contreras and Anamaria Syare sat down with producer Isabella Gomez Sarmiento to discuss the ways musicians danced fearlessly across genre lines while showing up as their complete selves more than ever before.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • You know all those tubas and brass instruments you hear behind your favorite regional Mexican hits? That's banda sinaloense and this week Alt.Latino wraps up the Regional Goes Global series with a visit to Sinaloa, Mexico, the birthplace of the genre.Anamaria Sayre and Felix Contreras visit the picturesque town Mocorito, a pueblo magico where tradition and pride in the musical heritage runs deep. That's the case even among members of the drug cartels, which are responsible for some of the country's societal ills. It's a complex story as passionate and heartfelt as the music that stretches from the hills of Sinaloa to this side of the U.S.-Mexico border.Audio for this episode of Alt.Latino was edited and mixed by Joaquin Cotler, with production support from Lilly Quiroz, Suraya Mohamed, Josephine Nyounai and Natalia Fidelholtz. The editor for this episode is Jacob Ganz, and our project manager is Grace Chung. Hazel Cills is the podcast editor and digital editor for Alt.Latino. Our VP of Music and Visuals is Keith Jenkins.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • For the second episode of Alt.Latino's regional Mexican music series, hosts Anamaria Sayre and Felix Contreras interview the rising family band Yahritza y Su Esencia in its hometown of Yakima, Wash. The two discover that the U.S.-Mexico border looms large in this regional Mexican moment, especially for Yahritza y Su Esencia — not strictly because of the music's obvious Mexican roots, but also the ways in which the border can create an "us" and "them" dynamic. The band's struggles with musical and personal identity also reflect the real struggles that millions of U.S.-born folks with Mexican heritage face. And what started as a musical journey for Ana and Felix has now become a personal journey.Audio for this episode of Alt.Latino was edited and mixed by Joaquin Cotler, with production support from Janice Llamoca, Shelby Hawkins, Suraya Mohamed and Natalia Fidelholtz. The editor for this episode is Jacob Ganz and, our project manager is Grace Chung. Hazel Cills is the podcast editor and digital editor for Alt.Latino. Our VP of Music and Visuals is Keith Jenkins.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • Earlier this year, Peso Pluma — a 24-year-old who grew up in between Guadalajara, Jalisco, and San Antonio — became the first regional Mexican artist to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Global 200 chart. Something in the music industry was changing. Streaming numbers for regional Mexican shot up astronomically, as the musical stylings of banda and norteño made their way onto the Coachella main stage and burgeoning stars like Peso Pluma began to book their first U.S. tours in major markets. But what accounted for regional Mexican's rise? And what does the genre's continued popularity say about not just changing trends in the Latin music industry, but the changing shape of America? For the next three episodes of Alt.Latino, Anamaria Sayre and Felix Contreras dive into the regional Mexican explosion, revealing the complex relationships both Mexicans and Mexican Americans have with identity from either side of the border. In this first episode, Felix and Anamaria travel to Nashville, Tenn., to witness Peso Pluma's performance and to try to understand the root of the phenomenon, through their own personal experiences and the people they meet along the way.Audio for this episode of Alt.Latino was edited and mixed by Janice Llamoca and Joaquin Cotler, with production support from Shelby Hawkins, Suraya Mohamed, Natalia Fidelholtz and Lauren Migaki. The editor for this episode is Jacob Ganz and our project manager is Grace Chung. Our VP of Music and Visuals is Keith Jenkins.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • Recently Ana and Felix traveled to NPR member station KQED in San Francisco to meet Alt.Latino listeners and interview the musician Marinero, who has deep musical and familial roots in the Bay Area. This week's show is a recording of that live interview, full of great music as well as lots of laughs.Audio for this episode of 'Alt.Latino' was edited and mixed by Suraya Mohamed. Our show editor is Hazel Cills and our project manager is Grace Chung. Our VP of Music and Visuals is Keith Jenkins.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • The Colombian singer Maluma has a lot to be excited about these days — a world tour, a new album and a shot at exploring a different part of his humanity: being a parent.The artist has often felt a sense of responsibility: to support up and coming artists he seeks out on social media and to showcase a more joyful, loving side of Colombia to the world. And, now, responsibility is about to take on a whole new meaning.Following a tear-filled performance at the Tiny Desk, the artist sat down with Felix Contreras and Anamaria Sayre to talk about what it means now to have two loves of his life.Audio for this episode of 'Alt.Latino' was edited and mixed by Suraya Mohamed. Our show editor is Hazel Cills and our project manager is Grace Chung. Our VP of Music and Visuals is Keith Jenkins.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy