Courtesy of NPR

The first set of the program that will air this weekend is inspired by Bob Boilen and NPR’s All Songs Considered in honor of the 20th anniversary of this “music show for your computer.” I’ve discovered a wide variety of fantastic music through All Songs Considered over the years, and I’ve always loved how they feature many artists and musical styles from around the world. In fact, the very first piece that Bob played on the show back in January of 2000 was a beautiful tune by renowned multi-instrumentalist and composer Gustavo Santaolalla, from Argentina. You’ll hear that tune and a Scottish Gaelic song by Mouth Music that was featured on one of the early episodes of All Songs Considered.  (I just happen – not surprisingly?! – to have both of these albums in my CD collection.) In addition to those, I’ll also play music from Korean traditional group Ak Dan Gwang Chil. I just heard them for the first time on one of the most recent All Songs Considered shows covering discoveries at this year’s globalFEST in New York City.

You can listen to Bob Boilen and his co-host Robin Hilton reminisce about the beginnings of ASC on this fun episode of the show that came out on January 7, 2020: What ‘All Songs Considered’ Sounded Like 20 Years Ago. And I’m really pleased to know that when Spokane Public Radio recently picked up The Rhythm Atlas for their Saturday night line up, they also added All Songs Considered and NPR’s Alt.Latino in the time slots right before it. How cool is that?!

I just want to say thanks to Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, and all the other regular guests, hosts, and staffers who make All Songs Considered – and now the whole, expansive NPR Music hub – such a wonderful place to discover and explore music of all kinds. Here’s to 20 more years!

I hadn’t heard of the New York City-based Latin boogaloo revival band Spanglish Fly until I came across their recent Tiny Desk Concert on the NPR Music website last week. I am so glad to have seen that! So glad, in fact, that I’ll be playing one of their songs on The Rhythm Atlas program that will air this weekend. (Go to the Listen menu above to find out how you can hear the radio show.)

As their website says, “Spanglish Fly is part band, part celebration: 12 musicians igniting a party that quickly spreads to the audience. Boogaloo! That mix of Latin and soul/R&B that emerged from the clubs, the street corners, the transistor radios and the pool halls of 1960s Spanish Harlem, “El Barrio.” Inspired by Latin boogaloo, or bugalú, Spanglish Fly plays irresistible grooves that blend Afro-Caribbean rhythms with the fervor, the feeling, and the harmonics of 60s soul.”

I also love what Felix Contreras, host of NPR Music’s Alt.Latino program, had to say about the band on the Tiny Desk concert page: “When the crew that is Spanglish Fly pulled in behind the Tiny Desk, the group’s vibrant version of boogaloo raised the temperature in the NPR Music offices quite a bit. Whether displaying their party spirit or even the slow burn of social consciousness on the song “Los Niños En La Frontera [The Children at the Border],” this band plays from the heart and engages both the mind and body.”

You can watch their performance here to get yourself boogalooing! And tune in to The Rhythm Atlas this weekend to hear Spanglish Fly and more fantastic music from all over the globe.