NPR's Jason Beaubien just returned from Sierra Leone, which along with Guinea and Liberia is suffering from the worst ever Ebola outbreak.
To listeners of our mother station WBUR, Jose Masso is the longtime host of the Latin music show Con Salsa! To us, he’s the impeccably dressed, always smiling, breath of fresh air that comes strolling into our cubicle to visit when he’s at the station for his show.
During Masso’s most recent visit, he spoke with us about a number of Latin music mashups that have caught his ear.
Juan Luis Guerra To Collaborate With Gustavo Dudamel
Latin music superstar Juan Luis Guerra will be playing with Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in August.
“Isn’t that unbelievable?” Masso exclaimed to Here & Now‘s Robin Young. “Just think about it: Juan Luis Guerra and his music, but what makes it so special and unique is that it’s Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic.”
Masso said that Guerra has become incredibly popular around the world because of his ability to be “poetic and loving” in his merengue and bachata music.
“The key to his success has been [not only] the catchy tunes that he’s able to compose, but the lyrics to the songs that he writes. Very romantic. He’s like a poet,” Masso said.
Guerra is also a born-again Christian, which comes through in his music, Masso said.
Rubén Blades Has New CD With Cheo Feliciano
Panamanian salsa singer Rubén Blades is out with a new album, a collaboration with Puerto Rican singer Cheo Feliciano.
The album is Blades’ first foray back into music since taking five years off to serve as minister of tourism for his homeland, Panama.
Arturo Sandoval Pays Tribute To Dizzy Gillespie
Cuban-born Jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval has a new album, “Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You)” that pays homage to legendary trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie, who was also a dear friend.
The two players met in 1977, when Gillespie visited Cuba. He arrived on a cruise ship, and Sandoval, who didn’t know much English, ended up being his driver.
“That night, Dizzy went to a night club, expecting to hear some great Cuban music, and who [was] playing? His driver, Arturo Sandoval. And that was the beginning of a very strong, close friendship,” Masso said.
“This album captures a very close bond in friendship…I can’t take it off my CD player. Everywhere I go I’ve been listening to it…..it’s like a love letter to music,” Masso said.