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New Music From Central America, The Caribbean And Italy

This week on Alt.Latino we’ve got quite a lot of ground to cover, so pack light. And if you love percussion, this show's for you. We start our musical voyage in Panama, listening to a rocker who keeps his wild guitar licks grounded with a constant pattering of traditional drumbeats. Then we move to the Caribbean, where Puerto Rican and Dominican artists are fusing traditional afro-Caribbean percussion with funk, indie rock and ballads.

Our voyage also takes us all the way to Italy. When we were working on this week’s show, we noticed a stack of CDs we’ve been receiving from artists covering Italian classics -- including a group of Argentine girls who channel Neopolitan sensuality and a young Italian funk band that belongs on a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. When we asked Argentine band Las Taradas about their decision to cover Italian songs, they talked about the inherent feminism of strong, sexy women who sing proudly and are as funny as they are assertive.

We’ve got a lot of free downloads this week, and many of these songs also have breathtaking videos. Viva Italia!

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Jasmine Garsd is an Argentine-American journalist living in New York. She is currently NPR's Criminal Justice correspondent and the host of The Last Cup. She started her career as the co-host of Alt.Latino, an NPR show about Latin music. Throughout her reporting career she's focused extensively on women's issues and immigrant communities in America. She's currently writing a book of stories about women she's met throughout her travels.
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