I hope you are taking good care as everyone tries to make it through this pandemic alone together. As we all know, the way to flatten the curve is to stay at home and isolate as much as possible. Democracy Now! is working day and night to bring you the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic. Tune in daily for the most up-to-date information on this global crisis. You can visit our coronavirus topics page anytime for in-depth interviews and analysis on the pandemic and every aspect of life it touches, from the state of our healthcare system and the future of Medicare for All to workers’ rights, immigration and mass incarceration. At this time, when almost everyone in the United States has been directed to stay at home, we are reaching back into the Democracy Now! archive to share some musical performances with you that soothe the soul and lift the spirits.
A few years ago, Alynda Segarra, leader of the critically acclaimed band Hurray for the Riff Raff, joined us in the studio for an interview and to perform her songs. When she was just 17, Alynda left home in the Bronx and began hopping freight trains. She eventually landed in New Orleans, where she learned to play banjo. Over the past decade, her band has become one of the most celebrated in modern folk music.
In 2012, Amy interviewed legendary pianist and composer Randy Weston, who died in 2018 at the age of 92. For more than six decades, Weston was a pioneering jazz musician who incorporated into his work the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa. His 1960 album, “Uhuru Afrika,” celebrated the independence movements in Africa and the influence of traditional African music on jazz.
Las Cafeteras, a Los Angeles-based Chicano band, also joined us in studio for an interview and performance. The band has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “a uniquely Angeleno mishmash of punk, hip-hop, beat music, cumbia and rock.”
Radio Jarocho is a New York band specializing in son jarocho, a mix of Afro-Caribbean, Spanish and Mexican indigenous dance and music. In 2018, the band joined us in the studio to play songs from their album, Rios de Norte y Sur: Rivers of the North and South, which features the master jarana player and poet Zenen Zeferino.