21 Days of Musica Latina: Guatemala
Editor's Note: To commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month this year, World Cafe is going on a musical tour of Latin America. Every weekday from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, we'll spotlight the music of a different Latin American country with a curated playlist of essential tracks, fresh voices and wild cards.
As with many of our 21 Days playlists, our excursion into music in Guatemala is rooted in the country's Indigenous traditions.
For centuries, Maya peoples have used a variety of wind and percussion instruments, like ocarinas, guiros and rattles, that are still present in the work of artists today. Sara Curruchich and Ch'umilkaj are both singer-songwriters of Kaqchikel descent who blend traditional folk music with more contemporary instrumentation, writing songs about Guatemala's Indigenous peoples and their fight for equality.
Then, there's an instrument that holds a special place in Guatemala's musical history: The marimba has been popular here ever since enslaved people from Africa brought early versions of the percussion instrument. You can hear it in this playlist from groups like Maderas Chapinas and Bohemia Suburbana.
Possibly one of our favorite threads in this playlist is the bevy of vibrant indie pop music from artists like Tita, Los Florifundia and Tijuana Love. We highly recommend Tita's 2022 album, Mundo Cruel.
Enjoy, and make sure you come back tomorrow to find out where World Cafe's headed next.
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