NPR program will feature special performances, interviews

and more September 15 – October 15

A special musical celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month will be presented by the NPR-distributed daily music program World Cafe from September 15 through October 15. Exclusive content will feature special guests, live music sessions, artist interviews and more that highlight the exciting music of Hispanic/Latino/LatinX artists.


Since 2012, World Cafe, produced by public radio WXPN in Philadelphia where it is heard from 2 pm to 4 pm weekdays, has presented Latin Music programming on World Cafe (Latin Roots) as well as a Latin Roots Live! concert series. The show’s Latin Roots programming for National Hispanic Heritage Month will include:


  • A new music discovery journey through cities in Central America, South America, and Mexico, guided by new Latin Roots contributor Byron Gonzalez, who is the music director, host and producer of Latin Alt, an online station based out of KCSN/Los Angeles (a World Cafe affiliate). A specially-produced companion playlist on Spotify can be heard at


  • Radio sessions and interviews with artists including Chicano Batman, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Carlos Santana, Jorge Drexler, Ife’, and others.


  • A digital showcase of World Cafe’s vast Latin Roots interviews and sessions, as well as videos from its NPR Music Live Sessions.




Sept. 15: New World Cafe Latin Roots correspondent Byron Gonzalez discusses what defines Latin Alternative music in his home area of Southern California, and presents a music mix that highlights artists of Hispanic heritage. On the following dates, he’ll explore Latin music today in these cities of Mexico, Central America and South America:


Sept. 18: Guatemala – Guatemala City

Sept. 22: Nicaragua – Managua

Sept. 25: Honduras – San Pedro Sula

Sept. 29: El Salvador – San Salvador

Oct. 2: Costa Rica – San Jose

Oct. 6: México – Tijuana

Oct. 9: Chile – Santiago

Oct. 13: Peru – Lima

Oct. 15: Ecuador – Quito


Sept. 16: Chicano Batman – Live recordings of some of their newest music and an interview with the band’s singer, Bardo Martinez, who’ll tell how bumping into musician Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes, Bermuda Triangle) in downtown Los Angeles influenced the band’s sound.


Sept. 22: Carlos Santana – One of the most influential guitarists of the last 50 years talks about his famed Woodstock performance, how the surprise hit “Smooth” featuring Rob Thomas came together, and provides incredible live performances.


Oct. 1: Rodrigo Y Gabriela – Known for their mind-blowing guitar work, the duo deliver an amazing interpretation of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes,” talk about why they chose that song, and how they make their two-piece acoustic guitar duo sound so huge.


Oct. 7: Jorge Drexler – The first Uruguayan to win an Academy Award (for the 2004 film Motorcycle Diaries) also trained as a doctor before becoming a musician and moved around the world. The charming and poetic overachiever performs a whimsical set of live songs from his album Salvavidas De Hielo, and reflects on the many twists and turns his professional life has taken. After this interview was recorded, Drexler was awarded Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Singer-Songwriter Album for Salvavidas De Hielo at the Latin Grammy Awards.


Oct. 8: ÌFÉ – In an interview hosted by Felix Contraras of NPR’s Alt.Latino, Afro-Caribbean artist Otura Mun (ÌFÉ) – who was raised in Indiana but fell in love with Puerto Rico after a chance trip there – talks about arriving on the island with only $150, sleeping on the streets, and finding himself immersed in music. He also shares his longtime love of artist Steve Winwood, and presents a special extended live version of his cover of Winwood’s “Higher Love” that was recorded at the World Cafe Live concert club in Philadelphia.


Oct. 14: La Santa Cecilia – The acclaimed Los Angeles-based band takes listeners to the place where it started: Olvera Street, the Mexican marketplace that is one of the city’s oldest sections. Lead singer Marisol and her longtime brother in song, Pepe, talk about busking among the vendors, being inspired to give a surprise performance there, and how the street has played an important role in her family’s life: from her parent’s first date to the day she decided to take over running the stall that her grandfather first started there in the ‘60s.


To learn more about World Cafe Latin Roots, visit For more about World Cafe, visit and


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