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A Guided Tour Of Colombian Music, From The Mountains To The Coasts

This week, we take a long drive along the mountain roads, high planes, tropical coastlines and large urban centers of Colombia.

NPR News contributor Betto Arcos is in control of the car's CD/cassette/8-track player, and he's blasting a mix of contemporary and traditional sounds. Along the way, he fills us in on the backstories of the artists, as well as the history of the different folk genres.

Colombia is a diverse country reflecting the legacies of Spain, Africa, indigenous cultures and a mix of the above. So the music is a fascinating mashup — one of the most compelling blends you'll find anywhere on the planet.

So settle in, buckle up and let Alt.Latino open new musical worlds for you — or help you hear familiar sounds in new ways.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Hear The Songs

Herencia De Timbiquí

"I a Kelé Kandá"

From 'This Is Gozar Timbiqui Edition'

Rancho Aparte Chirimía

"Rompe Pecho"

From 'Poniéndote a Gozar'

Lucho Bermúdez

"Gaita de Las Flores"

From 'Sus Grandes Exitos'

Colacho Mendoza e Ivo Díaz

"Diosa Coronada"

From '20 Clasicos Vallenatos'

Victoria Sur

"Si No Se Pudo Pues No Se Pudo"

From 'El Dorado - 20 años'

Petrona Martinez

"Oye Mi Mamá (Afrobeat)"

From 'Petronica'

Carmelo Torres & Los Toscos

"La Antropología"

From 'La Antropología'

Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.