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A Kind Of Magic: New Latin Music, Sprinkled With Discovery Dust

Puerto Rican singer Raquel Sofia.
Courtesy of The Black Key Group
Puerto Rican singer Raquel Sofia.

I wish we'd put a camera in the Alt.Latino studio to capture Jasmine Garsd's face as she listened to my picks for the first time. It would have captured the way she stared into space as the sounds came through her headphones and made their way into her musical consciousness; there was a twinkle in her eyes as a slight smile parked itself on her face. I knew I'd unearthed some musical treasures when she absentmindedly mouthed, "Wow..."

At Alt.Latino, we're driven by the idea that listeners might experience that same reaction now and then; the principal joy for us in doing this show lies in that sense of discovery. This week, a sprinkle of Discovery Dust came courtesy of a remarkable collection of women vocalists from such far-flung locales as Argentina, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Mexico.

We found a bona fide future star in Raquel Sofia, a vocalist who doesn't even have an album out yet; we fell in love with the three tracks of hers that we found online. We're told that as soon as she's done crisscrossing the globe as a backup singer for Juanes, she'll record her first EP. Elsewhere, the new solo work of Thievery Corporation vocalist Natalia Clavier stopped me in my tracks this week. The finds are all over the map this week, literally and figuratively, and if you react to them half as strongly as Jasmine did, I'll be thrilled.

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