Music

The fiesta front man with a Rio samba inspired sound, Zeca Pagodinho is one of Brazil’s best loved artists, embodying the free, easy-going Carioca spirit. “Probably the only one who didn't sell for cheesy samba," according to Vanessa Mantini of LUKAS winning London’s based Brazilian Act...
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Los Amigos Invisibles is arguably the most globally recognized music act from Venezuela since Oscar D'Leon (the Salsa legend on their new album). Breaking onto the international scene on David Byrne’s (Talking Heads) Luakabop label, the Grammy-winning mix of Funk, Venezuelan dance music and a...
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Few people thought that Reggaetón - the famous “Dembow” beat with the Latino twist that exploded 15 years ago – would stand the test of time. Yet today almost every big artist, from Shakira and Enrique Iglesias to Drake, Sia and Justin Bieber, relies on that urban Latin sound to make hits. All the...
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Latin artists from Puerto Rico to Colombia, from East L.A. to Spanish Harlem, were getting groovier and earthier throughout the '60s, and the results were wide-ranging and just as freaky as in the parallel Afro-American funk world. The Fania label, as the home to most of the most commercial...
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Originally from Panama, Reggaetón’s roots can be traced back to the late 1990s, borrowing elements of reggae, rap, and hip-hop, and initially performed in underground venues. As the indisputably catchy beat and swagga soon spread to the rest of the Latin Caribbean, new artists emerged from Puerto...
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The songs of Juan Gabriel, one of Latin America’s most important singer-songwriters who died this week, have become anthems, re-recorded by the biggest current and former pop stars, such as Marc Anthony, Rocio Durcal, Juanes and over 300 other singers and bands, making the Mexican one of Latin...
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Juan Gabriel, who has died aged 66, is considered to be one of Latin American greatest singer-songwriters of all time. The Mexican wrote around 1,500 songs, many of which made hits for and brought fame and fortune to countless contemporary pop stars. His concerts, lasting up to five hours, could...
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Whether as percussionist of choice for the UK’s pop bands (Joe Strummer, The Cure, Kate Bush, Boney M) or bandleader, composer and arranger, timbalero extraordinaire, Roberto Pla, has come to be known as The Godfather of Latin Music in the UK. Celebrating 30 years in London leading his Latin...
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What is the outstanding quality that westerners find so baffling about Cuba’s bounty of world-class artists? From Carlos Acosta to Chucho Valdez, you’ll find a common combination unique to this idiosyncratic Caribbean island – a classical training as rigorous as any Russian maestro underpinned by...
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It’s not often that a huge Latin star visits London (let’s face it, they don’t need to), but in July the capital is graced by the presence of Marc Anthony, the king of modern Salsa, who is so big in Latin America that US pop stars line up to duet with him to capture the Latino market. One ambitious...
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At the young age of 35, Latino guitar sensation Diego Figueiredo has already recorded 23 albums and played in 60 countries around the world. Hailed by George Benson as “one of the greatest guitarists I’ve seen in my whole life”, the unique interpretation, flawless technique and raw emotion that...
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London’s Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese communities are well into their second and third generations. Some came here decades ago, as political refugees or economic migrants, and those born and bred here form part of the new generation of UK Latinos that are now making their mark on London...
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It has been a rollercoaster few years for the Grammy award-winning singer, but now Lila Downs is appreciating life more than ever, she tells Elizabeth Mistry
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