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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Tiny Desk Concerts
3:21 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Flaco Jimenez: Tiny Desk Concert

Flaco Jimenez and Max Baca play a Tiny Desk Concert on Oct. 3.
Lauren Rock NPR

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 1:03 pm

Watching Flaco Jimenez play his button accordion is like looking back in time. His grandfather started playing an accordion in cantinas and family parties along the Texas/Mexican border around the late 1800s. Then Flaco's dad, Santiago Jimenez Sr., carried on the family tradition when he released his first record in 1936.

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Alt.Latino
1:26 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Latin Music That Breaks Barriers And Pushes Boundaries

Singer Sarah Aroeste performs Ladino music — a style created by the Sephardic Jews of the Iberian Peninsula.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 9:04 am

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Tiny Desk Concerts
7:03 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Mariachi El Bronx: Tiny Desk Concert

Claire O'Neill NPR

Being a mariachi is a specialized gig. You might be able to fool people who don't know the music by wearing those tight pants and little jackets and playing with lots of vibrato. But hardcore mariachi fans will call you out in a minute if you try to fake it.

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The Record
4:31 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Herb Reed, Singer For The Platters, Dies

Portrait of the Platters with Herb Reed (left), 1950s. (Photo by Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images)
Frank Driggs Collection Getty Images

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Alt.Latino: The Show
1:26 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

The Truth About Cinco De Mayo

La Santa Cecilia
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 1:06 pm

  • Hear This Week's Show

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First Listen
9:33 pm
Sun April 29, 2012

First Listen: Chicha Libre, 'Canibalismo'

Chicha Libre's new album, Canibalismo, comes out May 8.
Txuca

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 7:45 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

"Chicha" is a catch-all word that refers to a variety of fermented drinks popular in many Latin American countries. The drink of choice among the working class, they tend to be cheap and potent.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
11:44 am
Mon February 6, 2012

The Creole Choir Of Cuba: Tiny Desk Concert

Mallory Benedict/NPR

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 9:29 am

Just when you think you know Cuban music, along comes the Creole Choir of Cuba. This group sprang from the ashes of Grupo Vocal Desandann, a small vocal outfit created in the late 1990s to celebrate traces of Haitian culture in eastern Cuba. That history dates back to the late 18th century, when slaves from Haiti were delivered to Cuba to harvest sugarcane after successful slave revolts in Haiti. A long-lost culture was revitalized by the group through music performed largely a cappella and entirely in Haitian Creole.

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