On this seventh segment of the Latin Roots series, Josh Norek joins World Cafe to explore the cultural roots of Latin funk — a mix of Latin grooves and Afro-American funk. Norek is the co-host and executive producer of The Latin Alternative, as well as a musician, producer and journalist who currently works for the Latin indie label Nacional Records.
Latin funk has been evolving for more than 40 years now, rising out of urban centers and earlier salsa and R&B mixes such as boogaloo. Given the melting pot of New York, the exposure of young musicians to variants of jazz, soul, funk and the diversity of Latin rhythms and instrumentation created an environment of experimentation. Norek describes Latin funk's ties to the Latino pride movement, and plays an appropriate song from the famous Latin percussionist Ray Barretto. Norek also describes the diversification of Latin funk in the last few decades, and spins a track from the latest album by Venezuela's Los Amigos Invisibles.
Hear Josh Norek's essential Latin funk playlist on Spotify.