Anastasia Tsioulcas writes at NPR Music for “Deceptive Cadence” (http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence). Widely published as a writer on both classical and world music, she is the former North America editor for Gramophone Magazine and the classical music columnist for Billboard. She has also been an on-air contributor to many public radio programs, including WNYC’s Soundcheck, Minnesota Public Radio’s The Savvy Traveler, Public Radio International’s Weekend America, and the BBC’s The World.
Many of us at NPR Music fell hard for Arizona's Sergio Mendoza and his band La Orkesta this year. Together, they mix myriad Latin styles — what Mendoza calls "indie mambo," salted with generous handfuls of cumbia, merengue and ranchera — and then feed all that through a psychedelic prism. They perform their songs with charm and panache, set off by the fireworks of the group's resident showman, the multi-talented Salvador Duran.
While NPR Music was in Austin for SXSW this year, we coaxed Mendoza and his crew into a three-song backyard party after a little local coffee. But they didn't really need the caffeine to get everyone's blood pumping.
- "Traicionera" (Treasons)
- "La Cucharita" (Little Spoon)
- "La Rienda" (The Reins)
Producers: Mito Habe-Evans, Saidah Blount, Anastasia Tsioulcas; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Director: AJ Wilhelm; Videographers: Mito Habe-Evans, Becky Harlan, Olivia Merrion, AJ Wilhelm; Editor: Olivia Merrion; Production Coordinator: Kate Kittredge; Special Thanks: Friends & Neighbors; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann