Felix Contreras

Felix Contreras is a reporter and producer for NPR's Arts Desk specializing in coverage of jazz, world music, and Latino arts and culture. He is also the co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's new web based program about Latin Alternative music.

As a producer and reporter for the NPR's Arts desk, Contreras has covered arts and technology issues; reported a series of stories on the financial challenges facing aging jazz musicians; and recently profiled a legendary Mexican singer for the "50 Great Voices" series. 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.

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

The Record
7:38 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Marian McPartland, 'Piano Jazz' Host, Has Died

Marian McPartland.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:23 pm

Marian McPartland, who gave the world an intimate, insider's perspective on one of the most elusive topics in music — jazz improvisation — died of natural causes Tuesday night at her home in Long Island, N.Y. She was 95.

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Music
3:06 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Of Ingenuity And Insane Clown Posse: 5 Books On Music For What's Left Of Summer

cover for Dinner With Lenny
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 7:58 am

It's already August 8, which means you've got maybe three or four weeks left to complain about preseason football, inadequately shield yourself from the scorching heat of the sun, and communicate with your kids about something other than why they haven't done their homework. So why not get cracking on a book?

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Music
4:37 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

A Kind Of Magic: New Latin Music, Sprinkled With Discovery Dust

Puerto Rican singer Raquel Sofia.
Courtesy of The Black Key Group

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:00 am

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Music
8:22 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

First Listen: Original Soundtrack, 'Hecho En Mexico'

Ranchera singer Lila Downs appears on the Hecho En Mexico soundtrack.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:08 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

The soundtrack to the documentary film Hecho En Mexico is ambitious and complicated, but the music more than justifies the journey.

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Literature
4:43 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Staff Picks: Our Favorite Music Books Of 2012

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 11:55 am

In 2012, writers who tackled musical topics dove deep, got weird, burrowed into a niche; we joyfully followed them to depths we never would have expected when the year began. We devoured works of criticism, history, biography and the Zen of John Cage and Tony Bennett.

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Music
2:39 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

How The Wolf Survived: 40 Years Of Los Lobos

Los Lobos.
Drew Reynolds

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:21 am

  • Hear Los Lobos Play Guest DJ

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Music
4:00 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

First Listen: Bomba Estéreo, 'Elegancia Tropical'

Bomba Estéreo's new album, Elegancia Tropical, comes out Nov. 6.
Rafael Piñeros, Mulato Films Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 11:30 am

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

Many musicians say that the second album is harder to write than the first, especially when a debut is successful: There's more pressure, higher stakes, fewer ways to surprise and less time to work. The Colombian band Bomba Estéreo faced down that imposing empty canvas when it entered the studio to record a followup to 2009's hit Blow Up.

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