By Grace Bastidas | 11/04/2009 - 13:43
Omara Portuondo is back. Not that the 79-year-old Cuban songstress ever stopped
performing. She just hadn’t visited the States ever since the 9/11 attacks
triggered all sorts of regulations that made it impossible to obtain a visa.
Now, thanks to policy changes by the Obama administration, the Havana resident
has returned to a country she entertained many times in the ’90s as the sole
female member of the Buena Vista Social Club.
By Grace Bastidas | 11/03/2009 - 11:29
Reggaetoneros Wisin & Yandel have mastered the art of the music video while working in front of the lens of Dominican director Jessy Terrero. Their latest production is more of a dramatic short film loaded with tension, suspense, flashbacks and a well-chosen cast.
By Grace Bastidas | 11/02/2009 - 14:00
It’s been over a month since Bronx-based collective Pacha Massive released their sophomore record, If You Want It. I spoke to Dominican-born founder and producer Ramon Nova to find out just how much his life has changed since the success of his first album, All Good Things, and if, as he once said, he still spends his days just sleeping, eating and dreaming music:
How did your life change after the first album?
By Grace Bastidas | 10/30/2009 - 12:29
Even if you don’t speak the Judeo-Spanish language Ladino—not many people do—you’ll understand Yasmin Levy’s soulful voice as she sings the Sephardic music of her ancestors. The 34-year-old songstress is spreading her cultural heritage in the U.S. for the first time with the release of her third album, Mano Suave. I caught up with her as she makes her way around the country:
Where are you from?
By Grace Bastidas | 10/29/2009 - 14:31
The hip-hop world has experienced a surge in Spanish-speaking rappers from all over. And while I wrote about four Mexican MCs for the November issue of Latina and have long been a fan of Spain’s La Mala Rodríguez, my current favorite has to be Anita Tijoux.
By Grace Bastidas | 10/28/2009 - 13:00
It doesn’t take an archaeologist to point out that there’s something fundamentally wrong about staging a concert on an ancient site. I was recently in Mexico City, where I saw billboards advertising a performance by British soprano Sarah Brightman set to take place on the Mayan ruin of Chichen Itza on Friday, Oct. 31. An event of this magnitude is not only disrespectful to past civilizations and historians, but it also undermines the need to preserve these structures for future generations.
By Grace Bastidas | 10/27/2009 - 12:30
“Women are bad” is the underlying message of Alexis & Fido’s song “Bartender” from the reggaeton act’s third album, Down To Earth. And sometimes these same women drive men to drink, hence the title of the song. “Los Pitbulls” filmed the video for the track in Miami under the direction of celebrity stylist Luieville (he’s also worked with Daddy Yankee, Pitbull and Calle 13), who describes the mini-production as “really futuristic, something new and innovative.” The vid opens with the boys seated at a bar.
By Grace Bastidas | 10/26/2009 - 12:40
Jennifer Lopez is telling her first husband to back off in a cease and desist letter her attorneys sent the producers of How I Married Jennifer Lopez: The J-Lo and Ojani Noa Story. The movie chronicles her relationship to the Cuban waiter in what is being described by the filmmakers as a “mockumentary.”
By Grace Bastidas | 10/23/2009 - 11:27
Close your eyes and listen to flamenco guitarist Niño Josele’s fifth album Española (out November 3). There is no need for vocals here. Not when you have an uncompromising musician who can make strings sing. Widely lauded as a risk-taker, the 35-year-old has crafted nine beautiful tracks that openly flirt with jazz and big hip-shaking Latin sounds (tell me you don’t want to dance to “A contratiempo”).