With discussion, anecdotes and music, San Jose Jazz’s Latin music coordinator Betto Arcos shines a spotlight on his new book. “Stories From the Cosmic Barrio” is a collection of more than 140 stories about music written for NPR, PRX’s The World, BBC, and KPCC in Los Angeles. He’ll be joined by noted culture and immigration writer Rubén Martínez.
All the stories contained in the book aired on public radio, from 2008 to 2020: 40 stories aired on NPR, more than 50 on The World and the rest on KPCC and BBC. Each story is accompanied by a photo of the artist or group. While the book’s main focus is Latin music from across the continent – with an emphasis on music of Latinos and other diverse ethnic groups in Los Angeles – there are also stories about musicians from Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. You’ll find many artists familiar to SJZ audiences including Cuban pianists Harold Lopez-Nussa and Alfredo Rodriguez; Cuban singer Dayme Arocena; La Santa Cecilia ; and Arturo O’Farrill.
The book also tells a personal story: Betto’s constant, tireless search for stories that help explain how complex and diverse we are, and how we share something so special that brings us together: music.
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