Felix Contreras

Felix Contreras is a reporter and producer for NPR's Arts Desk specializing in coverage of jazz, world music, and Latino arts and culture. He is also the co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's new web based program about Latin Alternative music.

As a producer and reporter for the NPR's Arts desk, Contreras has covered arts and technology issues; reported a series of stories on the financial challenges facing aging jazz musicians; and recently profiled a legendary Mexican singer for the "50 Great Voices" series. He once stood on the stage of the legendary jazz club The Village Vanguard after interviewing the club's owner and swears he felt the spirits of Coltrane and Monk walking through the room.

A part- time jazz musician, Contreras plays Afro Cuban percussion with various jazz and Latin bands. He is a recovering television journalist who has worked for both NBC and Univision.

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A Blog Supreme
3:05 pm
Sun April 21, 2013

Tito Puente: 90 Years Of Getting People To Dance

Tito Puente on vibraphone at the Palladium.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 6:38 pm

The percussionist and bandleader Tito Puente would have celebrated his 90th birthday this weekend on April 20. And the recently released box set Quatro: The Definitive Collection is a great place to start celebrating the once and forever King of Latin Music. It captures the driving sound of big band mambo and cha-cha-cha that launched people onto dance floors for decades.

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Alt.Latino
12:25 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Guest DJ With California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera

California poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:01 am

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Alt.Latino
1:31 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

5 Stories About Immigration, In Song Form

Thousands of immigration activists gather in front of the U.S. Capitol on April 10, 2013, in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:01 am

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SXSW: Live From Austin
8:06 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Bajofondo, Live In Concert: SXSW 2013

NPR

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 8:59 pm

  • Bajofondo, Recorded Live At Auditorium Shores

With eight accomplished musicians from Argentina and Uruguay, and a sound rooted in tango traditions, Bajofondo lays out a visual and aural feast. Led by Oscar and Grammy winner Gustavo Santaolalla, the group mashes up traditional candombe sounds and other forms with electronica to produce a mix that's hypnotic and danceable.

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SXSW: Live From Austin
6:10 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Molotov, Live In Concert: SXSW 2013

Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 9:02 am

  • Molotov, Recorded Live At Auditorium Shores

Politics and rock en Español go hand in hand, and Mexico City's Molotov is a flag-waver for that combination. The band formed in 1995 during an era in which seismic political changes transformed Mexican society; from the start, Molotov's music pointed fingers at economic and political institutions — and even aging rock stars.

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First Listen
4:25 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

First Listen: Bajofondo, 'Presente'

Bajofondo's new album, Presente, comes out March 5.
Picky Talarico Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 6:52 am

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

I was initially drawn to Bajofondo because of the way the band ignored expectations.

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Alt.Latino
4:41 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Mad Musical Scientists: Latin Musicians Who Dare To Experiment

Sandra Velasquez's new album is titled Dig Deeper.
Shirley Rodriguez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:20 am

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Alt.Latino
6:40 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

Cooking Tamales For The Beatles: Guest DJ Sandra Cisneros

Author Sandra Cisneros.
Jessica Fuentes Jessica Fuentes

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:04 am

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Alt.Latino
1:57 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Cuban Sounds: From Mambo To Pop, And Back Again

Alex Cuba.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:24 am

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The Record
1:52 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Jesse & Joy, Juanes Win Big At Latin Grammys

Jesse & Joy accept one of their four awards during the Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas on Thursday.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 3:31 pm

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