The music we listen to as children stays with us the rest of our lives. By listing their influences, Latin artists today will invariably tell us about the music they have heard at home. These personal family mixes, most often comprising the two genres originating in their own country – or those of their parents – and English-speaking rock and pop – inevitably resonate in the music they make today.
During Hispanic Heritage Month we often talk about the past, highlighting the musical contributions of historical figures to make sure they won’t be forgotten, and bringing back the soundtracks of our childhood for our own children.
But inheritance is of course about the future as well as the past. Here are artists who are dedicated to raising awareness of Latin music and promoting the linguistic and cultural education of the little ones.
Hamlet of Mi Amigo, Happy land is Tierra Feliz
Hamlet Meneses, originally from Guatemala and resident of Chicago, uses his Latin alternative songs for children to promote bilingual education. His new album, Happy land is Tierra Feliz, out today (September 21)
Sonia de los Santos, Alegria!
Sonia de los Santos first caught the attention of young audiences and their parents as a protege of kind King Dan Zanes. The singer-songwriter says the goal of her new album, which will be released on October 5, is just to make people smile.
Luis Pescetti and Amigos, Magic Todo el DÃa
A group of international musicians transform the poems of revered Argentinian performer and children’s writer Luis Pescetti into songs on this 2018 Latin-Grammy nominated album.
Rolf y Flor (The more pink tones), “Quiero Ser Explorador”
Some time ago, the members of The Pinker Tones from Barcelona traded nightly raves for children’s matinees where they performed music from their bilingual series of books and songs. Rolf and Flor. Their last, Rolf y Flor in el Amazonas, called for samba and other Brazilian rhythms. The lyrics are intended strictly for children, but the music should also appeal to parents.
Ana & Gio, “QuÃ© Rico Es”
The original music of Mexican duo Ana & Gio is at the center of their early childhood development program which includes classes, concerts and an album that was just nominated for a Latin Grammy 2018. Their song “QuÃ© Rico Es” features Gilberto Santa Rosa salsero.
Evan and Vanessa “Sol, Sol, Sol”
Louisville couple Evan and Vanessa perform what they call “peaceful bilingual music for kids and families.” Ethereal voices and uplifting rhythms are calming for babies and for harassed moms and dads. The duo’s new album, In our world there are no strangers is due September 28.
Various, Hold on, shine brightly
Los Angeles’ Lucky Diaz and other well-known children’s artists have responded to the US government’s child separation policy with this compilation. Money from album sales will go to the Center for Refugee and Immigrant Legal Education and Services (RAICES), a non-profit organization that provides legal aid to refugee and immigrant families.
Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats, “La Cosecha”
Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats performed swing songs from their new album last month at Kidzapalooza Festival in Lollapalooza. The new version, All sounds, features âLa Cosecha,â a festive tribute to community gardening, and a Piazzolla-style tango, âHowl to the Moon,â for Halloween.
Cantaro Group, The Hummingbird sings and dances: Latin American lullabies and nursery rhymes
The latest âaudio picture bookâ from Montreal company The Secret Mountain offers an introduction to the traditional Latin American song of Grupo Cantaro de Mexico.