Latin Music You Can Listen to with your Kids
If you want to raise music lovers, listen to music. It sounds so simple! But for moms and dads who love good music, finding music that appeases your tastes while being both palatable and appropriate for little ears can be tricky.
You could always turn on those albums made for kids. But, listening to just the commercial for Kidz Bop makes me want to jump out a window. And, I can’t stomach The Wiggles. If you don’t want to listen to that, why would you make your kids?
Latin pop, Tejano, Salsa, Cumbia, Flamenco, Samba and other Latin music genres are great options, especially for those children who might not be perfectly fluent in Spanish. It gives them a taste of other music types and reinforces their Spanish, but it’s likely that any innuendo or fleeting risqué phrase will be so subtle or poetic that kids won’t catch it.
Need something more contemporary? Here are a few artists making great music that you and your kids can happily listen to.
Don’t let her sweet-sounding voice and kid-friendly look fool you, Gaby Moreno is a musician’s musician. Musicos like Davíd Garza are among her many super fans. Her lyrics are beautifully poetic and often-story driven. Many of her tracks across her three albums and Christmas EP are upbeat, jazzy with blues influences, and some are perhaps even folk-inspired. Kids will love her accessible sound, while the grown ups will appreciate the messages in her music. She has sung in both English and Spanish though her latest album, 2012’s Postales (rereleased this April) is her first all-Spanish language release.
La Santa Cecilia
No one can deny that this Latin alternative band is amazing. A mixture of traditional Latin music (that they describe as ‘Pan-American rhythms’), with a contemporary twist and a touch of activism, La Santa Cecilia’s music manages to be catchy and inventive. The L.A.-based band follows in a long tradition of Mexican-American, Chicano and bilingual music, but the sound is something like next-level folk. A bonus: the lyrics and themes of some of the songs can open up a dialogue with your about being Latino in the U.S. and about the personal effect of the immigration issue.
Ozo fans will not be surprised to see their band on this list. A phenomenal group that defied genre when it first found fame, these California rockers mixed rap, funk, hip-hop, cumbia, rock and more to create their trademark sound. They are the kind of band that can effortlessly mix bongos and turntable scratches on a track. Even though they are outspoken about their politics in life and in lyrics, you can easily find songs off their grown-up albums that you’d have no qualms about pumping up in the car. Ademas, the band put out Ozomatli presents Ozokids in 2012, it’s a legit kids album that has all the musicality and creativity of a grown folks’ Ozo album. You might have even heard their tunes on PBSKids, via their collaboration with the network. In April, they released a music video in in partnership with the Los Angeles Public Library, see that below.
By now, you’ve likely clicked on the viral story about the band of three Mexican sisters who rock so hard they successfully cover Metalica, AC/DC and Ozzy Osbourne, among others. The sisters Dany, Paulina and Ale range in age from 9 to 14 and play all their own instruments. Their age hasn’t prevented them from making great music that blossoming rockers will love. From Monterrey, their music wouldn’t necessarily fit into a Latin genre, which is what made them land in the “extra credit” category. Nevertheless, parents will be impressed by their phenomenal talent and musical skills. In April, the sisters came out with their own album of original music.