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New Latin Music: Three Albums Not To Miss

The Latin influence in mainstream Western music extends way back.

Very early New Orleans jazz incorporated Caribbean rhythms. The tango, rumba and mambo influenced the dance styles of the 1930s and '40s. In the '60s, Carlos Santana put the Latin sound upfront and center.

And now, there's Latin hip-hop and pop and electronica — a collection of styles that all come together under the label of Latin alternative.

"It's more of a catchall phrase — it's a collection of genres," NPR arts producer and reporter Felix Contreras says. He and Scott Simon recently discussed three recent notable Latin alternative releases.

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