Felix Contreras

Felix Contreras is co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's web-based program about Latin Alternative music and Latino culture. It features music as well as interviews with many of the most well-known Latino musicians, actors, film makers and writers.

Previously, Contreras was a producer and reporter for NPR's Arts Desk and covered, among other stories and projects: a series reported from Mexico introducing the then-new musical movement called Latin Alternative; a series of stories on the financial challenges facing aging jazz musicians; and helped produce NPR's award winning series 50 Great Voices.

He once stood on the stage of the legendary jazz club The Village Vanguard after interviewing the club's owner and swears he felt the spirits of Coltrane and Monk walking through the room.

Contreras is a recovering television journalist who has worked for both NBC and Univision. He's also a part-time musician who plays Afro-Cuban percussion with various jazz and Latin bands.

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1:48pm

Mon April 21, 2014
Tiny Desk Concerts

Federico Aubele: Tiny Desk Concert

Federico Aubele performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in February 2014.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Argentine singer-songwriter Federico Aubele uses his dark, husky voice to produce a specific effect in the three songs he performs at this Tiny Desk Concert: Together, they jell into one impressionistic midtempo ballad.

A voice like Aubele's could be restrictive: His lower register seems to always reflect something dark and lonely. Think of your favorite bottom-scraping vocalist and the lyrics he or she interprets.

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6:03am

Sat February 22, 2014
Tiny Desk Concerts

Sofia Rei: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 9:11 pm

John Poole NPR

A drum from the Argentine Pampas fuels the music of Sofia Rei in this video: The way Franco Pinna has it incorporated into a traditional drum set serves as a musical metaphor for the music Rei performs alongside Pinna and guitarist/bassist JC Maillard.

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12:19pm

Mon December 16, 2013
Tiny Desk Concerts

La Santa Cecilia: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 10:22 am

La Santa Cecilia performs a Tiny Desk Concert in November 2013.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

La Santa Cecilia spreads joy every time its members plug in to do a show. They do it one dance step at a time, with cumbias, corridos, elegant mambos and plain old rock 'n' roll.

I first saw La Santa Cecilia perform in an Austin, Texas, parking lot about five years ago. As all great bands do, it showcased an It Factor that has only intensified as the L.A.-based, Mexican-American group works tirelessly to perfect its musical vision.

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8:42am

Sat September 14, 2013
Tiny Desk Concerts

Arturo O'Farrill: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 4:10 pm

The Arturo O'Farrill Octect performs a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013.
Hayley Bartels Hayley Bartels/NPR

Latin jazz works best when the musicians involved are as fluent in Afro-Cuban rhythms as they are in the deep grooves and advanced harmonics of bebop. Arturo O'Farrill has that pedigree in his DNA: His father, Chico O'Farrill, was part of a groundbreaking group of musicians who created the mash-up of Afro-Cuban music and jazz back in late-'40s New York.

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12:03pm

Mon August 26, 2013
Tiny Desk Concerts

Buika: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 4:14 pm

The Buika performs a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013.
Hayley Bartels Hayley Bartels/NPR

Concha Buika's voice doesn't come from inside her petite body: It comes from Africa, and from the past. There are obvious traces of flamenco, itself a historical mash-up of the Moors and various transitory cultures in southern Spain and north Africa.

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