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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.

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