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Latin Roots

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About Latin Roots

Latin Roots Live
The Latin Roots Live! concert series is inspired by Latin Roots, the bi-weekly radio series on World Cafe® hosted by David Dye, which explores the vast variety of music from Spanish-speaking countries and people, from cumbia, mambo and son to Latin rock, reggaeton, and more. Latin Roots on World Cafe is made possible by the Wyncote Foundation. Latin Roots Live! is produced in partnership with Afrotaino and Raices Culturales and made possible by the William Penn Foundation

Latin Roots Live!

Latin Roots Live!
Listen to Ana Tijoux’s Latin Roots Live! show from World Cafe Live. Listen to Eco Del Sur’s Latin Roots Live! show from World Cafe Live.

Latin Roots #28: Aaron Levinson on Merengue - February 21, 2013

Grammy-winning latin music producer Aaron Levinson and host David Dye embark on a journey to the world of merengue music, starting with its roots in the Dominican Republic.

Largely influenced by the dictator Rafael Trujillo to celebrate his political agenda, merengue is a form of fast paced, rhythmic music. Utilizing diatonic accordions, tamboras, and the güira, traditional merengue bands have irresistibly induced listeners from around the world to move with the sounds of the tropical beat.

Following the fall of Trujillo, merengue music reinvented itself numerous times by creating innovative subgenres such as merengue estilo yanqui or perico ripiao. And, the popularity of this particular form of music has significantly fluctuated, especially with the strong Dominican presence outside of the tropical country.
Digressing a bit from its traditional roots, merengue, now incorporates saxophones and a plethora of other modern instruments to cater to mainstream audiences. Tune into the 28th edition of Latin Roots and see why merengue is such a festive, yet addicting, form of music.
  • Listen to the Show:
    Latin Roots: Bomba Y Plena In this installment of World Cafe's Latin Roots series, host David Dye speaks with Grammy-winning producer Aaron Levinson about two beloved traditional genres, bomba and plena.
  • Show Tracks:
    • Luis Kalaff Y Sus Alegres Dominicanos / "Por Abajo Y Por Arriba" / Luis Y Sus Alegres Dominicanos' Tu Crees Que Es Asi
    • Wilfrido Vargas / "Abusadora" / Coleccion Diamante
  • Listen to the Playlist:


Latin Roots is made possible by a grant from the Wyncote Foundation.

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