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21 Days of Musica Latina: El Salvador

Courtesy of the artist

Editor's Note: To commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month this year, World Cafe is going on a musical tour of Latin America. Every weekday from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, we'll spotlight the music of a different Latin American country with a curated playlist of essential tracks, fresh voices and wild cards.

Salvadoran cumbia is in the limelight in this 21 Days of Musica Latina installment. Though the genre originated in Colombia, cumbia's spellbinding blend of Indigenous and African rhythms is huge in El Salvador.

This playlist includes popular Salvadoran bands like Los Hermanos Flores. In the east, groups like Los Hermanos Lovo turn cumbia into chanchona with the help of the upright bass.

Thousands of miles away, Salvadoran cumbia fused with American hip-hop to create the music of Los Angeles-based duo Crooked Stilo. The mix also includes Salvadoran hip-hop groups like Pescozada and Joaquin Santos.

There's also a healthy dose of Salvadoran rock in the playlist with bands like Adrenalina, La Iguana and Nativa Geranio.

Finally, San Salvador-based indie pop band Carrot is a fresh Salvadoran group to keep on your radar. We included their funky 2020 single "Quiero Cambiar" in the mix.

Enjoy, and make sure you come back tomorrow to find out where World Cafe's headed next.

Copyright 2023 XPN

Miguel Perez
Miguel Perez is a radio producer for NPR's World Cafe, based out of WXPN in Philadelphia. Before that, he covered arts, music and culture for KERA in Dallas. He reported on everything from the rise of NFTs in the music industry to the enduring significance of gay and lesbian bars to the LGBTQ community in North Texas.