WITH 90.1 FM

Catalina Maria Johnson

As one of the most beloved singers of the 20th century, Ella Fitzgerald was admired around the world. She was also one of the most acclaimed, earning a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master award; a National Medal of Art and a Presidential Medal of Freedom, 14 Grammy Awards and honorary doctorates from Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Howard Universities.

Every summer, Alt.Latino hits the road to attend the three largest Latin music festivals and it gets harder and harder to catch it all.

We tried something new this year at the annual SXSW Music Festival. We tracked down a bunch of Latin musicians, put a microphone in front of them wherever we find them and then ask them about their music.

To do this, I needed help so I called in Alt.Latino contributors Marisa Arbona Ruiz and Catalina Maria Johnson.

I struggled to balance the conflicting emotions of enjoying the musical celebration that is the annual SXSW Festival with the pain of the devastating loss of life in Friday's terrorist attack in New Zealand. It was an emotional push and pull that I kept completely to myself.

I say this to anyone who will listen: Latin music these days is exploding with so much creativity and inspiration that it is simply overwhelming. Once you get past the billions of views on YouTube of the reggaeton- inspired pop music, you'll find myriad artists who consider their cultural backgrounds a blank canvas on which they express their sense of self and identity.

Read Catalina Maria Johnson's profile of Jeremy Dutcher, originally published in September 2018, below — and listen at the audio link for the year-end version, adapted for radio.

Puerto Rican singer/songwriter iLe's debut album iLevitable took the indie Latinx musical world by storm in 2017, winning a Grammy for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative album with its mix of passionate classic boleros and vulnerable, sensual original songs.

Just as President Trump called out Congressman Keith Ellison, Deputy Chair of the DNC, for wearing one of Las Cafeteras' t-shirts that declares, "'I do not believe in borders," the border-busting and genre-blending band share a homage to immigrant love and sacrifice with the "Tiempos De Amor" video, premiered by Alt.Latino.

YouTube

LADAMA's contemporary blends of Latin American musical traditions have been on our radar since the release of their extraordinary

Rios de Norte y Sur (Rivers from North and South), the sophomore album from New York City's Radio Jarocho, pays loving homage to an art form that crossed the border with Mexican-American immigrants and has taken root in towns and cities around the U.S.

Pages