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21 Days of Musica Latina: Honduras

Aurelio Martinez
Max Jowitt
Courtesy of the artist
Aurelio Martinez

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.

For today's 21 Days stop, we land on the beaches of Honduras' Caribbean lowlands. Here you'll find the heart of the Garifuna community.

Honduran artists like Aurelio Martinez are torchbearers of Garifuna musical traditions; Aurelio is a master of the paranda, characterized by its blend of West African and Indigenous rhythms. The mix also includes young Garifuna musicians like Lil June Afro Punta, a Los Angeles-based artist who specializes in punta rhythms.

Elsewhere in the mix, you'll find touches of soul and R&B with GodDessey, Cesia Sáenz and Chia Casanova, whose latest album, Chia Casanova's Sensual Selection, came out earlier this year.

There are also some bonafide pop stars present. Tegucigalpa-born Isabella Lovestory captivated critics with her hard-hitting reggaeton pop debut called Amor Hardcore. Then, there's Honduran American singer, songwriter and producer Empress Of, who's been an alt-pop favorite since dropping 2015's Me.

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.