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.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

On Alt.Latino, the weekly podcast I've hosted for 11 years, we like to say every month is Hispanic Heritage Month. But we've amped things up a bit between the 15th of September and the 15th of October each year — and 2021 marks the grandest production yet.

Larry Harlow, a pianist, arranger, producer and activist who helped to popularize salsa in the U.S., died early Friday morning of heart failure. His death was confirmed by family members, who said that he had been hospitalized for kidney issues. He was 82.

Terapia Productions/Thirty Tigers / YouTube

"Funk Aspirin," the new single from Cuban funkmeister Cimafunk feature

The popular Dominican merengue musician Johnny Ventura has died. According to Dominican news media, the 81-year-old musician died after a sudden heart attack in his home country on Wednesday. The news was later confirmed by Ventura's son on social media.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.


I'm a little envious of those of you about to press play on this Tiny Desk (home) concert. The first time I heard this Argentine duo was love at first sight.

Every year, NPR Music participates in the SXSW music festival, whether it's curating a stage or simply attending hundreds of shows at the annual event in Austin, Texas. Last year, the festival was canceled due to the pandemic, but it returned this March as an online festival. We programmed a 'stage' of Tiny Desk (home) concerts and presented them on the final day of the festival. Now, we present to you Tiny Desk Meets SXSW: four videos filmed in various locations, all of them full of surprises.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Washington, D.C.'s world-famous cherry blossoms were blooming this week, and they were beautiful. And also in full flower, new music from our friends at Alt.Latino. Host Felix Contreras joins us now. Happy spring, Felix.

Johnny Pacheco, one of the founders of the iconic Latin music label Fania Records, died Monday at age 85.

Pacheco had been hospitalized in New Jersey for undisclosed reasons, according to Alex Masucci, the brother of Fania co-founder Jerry Masucci. No cause of death was provided.

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