Interview with Descemer Bueno.

An artist who deserved recognition long before he collaborated with Enrique Iglesias. Has "Bailando" really broken a barricade for Cuban musicians? 

Saying Goodbye to Cerati

Gustavo Cerati was in a coma for four years, but when he died on Sept. 4 it was still a shock. I met Gustavo and the other members of Soda Stereo in Buenos Aires in the late eighties, when I was a very young reporter and they were stars of an exploding new scene. Through a turn of fate, I was the A&R assistant at CBS International's fledgling Latin department when they came to New York to record the Doble Vida album; they stayed in an NYU dorm and I went with them to Crazy Eddie's to buy a boombox; I took them to some party in the East Village of those days, and ended up hiding under a table with Gustavo when someone took out a gun. The Doble Vida sessions were my first experience in a recording studio, I still remember the spell "Ciudad de la Furia" put me under when I heard it for the first time - it's still my favorite Soda song. I admit I never realized just how big Cerati's talent really was until I went to one of the first dates of the band's 2007 reunion tour -70,000 people in River stadium. I am so glad I made the trip and thankful for the invitation.

I searched to find words for the story I wrote for Billboard the day Cerati died. It was easier to let his music speak for itself in this playlist  for Rhapsody.


Neymar's Greatest Hits

As Neymar's career hit pause (proceeding the Brazilian team's downfall), I took a look at the hit-making football star's best musical moments.

Talking about New Music From Cuba on NPR's World Cafe

How Easing The Embargo Has Helped Spread & Revitalize Cuban Music In Surprising Ways. For this segment, I talked to David Dye about the backstory of the song "Bailando" and played music by Descemer Bueno with Gente de Zona, and Diana Fuentes.

Beyond Ipanema

Speaking of Brazil, some months back producer Beco Dranoff stopped by our house in Los Angeles to interview me for his TV documentary series on Brazilian music "Beyond Ipanema," airing on Brazilian TV.  Here is a short clip. 

Rubén Blades gets emotional on "tangos"

The salsa crossover pioneer announces his retirement from salsa touring as he releases an album of tango versions of his songs. Read my interview with Rubén in Billboard.

Juan Formell of Los Van Van dies at 71

One of the saddest stories I have ever had to write. Gracias Formell for your music and for your life lessons, not the least of which was "shut up and dance." I will always be a Vanvanera.

We're Alive!

I talked with Caetano Veloso about the Rainforest Alliance sessions, a project with fellow Brazilian musicians to create awareness of the beauty and fragility of these mighty trees. Let's join them in raising our voices to save the Earth! Read the story and watch the video here.


Haciendo Historia! 

I interviewed Cubans Gente de Zona on the Billboard Latin Music Awards Red Carpet. The duo performed with Descemer Bueno and Enrique Iglesias on the awards show stage - Cuban artists, from the island, making history.