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21 Days of Musica Latina: Bolivia

Luzmila Carpio
Courtesy of the artist
Luzmila Carpio

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.

Perhaps more than any other country we'll spotlight during these 21 Days of Musica Latina, contemporary Bolivian music is still closely tied to Indigenous rhythms and traditions.

That influence is on full display in the work of bands like Los Kjarkas, who use Andean folk instruments like the charango and ronroco. The folk group has even established two schools in South America to pass on Andean folk music.

This mix also includes a fascinating reinterpretation of Indigenous singer Luzmila Carpio's music called Luzmila Carpio Remixed. Sung in Aymara and Quechua, her folk songs are transformed by a modern electronic music filter. Carpio just released a new record called Inti Watana: El Retorno del Sol. There's also Elysia Crampton, whose music similarly explores her Andean heritage through a blend of avant-garde takes on huayno, cumbia and a mix of electronic subgenres.

The indie pop group Blssom is a fresh find for us. The duo, made up of Bolivian-American singer-songwriter Patricia Cornejo and Colombian producer Carlos Marín, are gearing up to release their sophomore album.

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.