bilingual children's music
     - learn about los ritmos
Why is my booty shaking?
The beautiful thing about la música latina is the way that your booty detaches itself from the rest of your body. La diversidad maravillosa de ritmos comes from the mixing of African, European and Indigenous cultures that occured after Cristóbal Colón (Columbus) got lost and established contact between the continents.

Click en un ritmo to learn more.
Merengue (¡Fuera, Perro!)
Mambo (The Calendario Mambo)
Bolero (Vamos Afuera, Tengo Hambre
Chachachá (¡Qué Día!)
Vals (De Colores, Uno Dos Tres)
Reggaetón (Muévete)
Ranchera (Me Gustan los Animales, ¿Dónde Está?)
Rock (From A to Zeta)
Shake it till you break it!
Merengue is a style of music, popular all over Latin America, that originated in the Dominican Republic in the 1920s. Merengue songs typically have a fast beat in a 2/4 time, and are characterized by the "boom-chick-a" pattern in the percussion. Originally they were played with just accordion and percussion, but now they have saxophones, piano, bass, and other instruments. Mister Felipe got his amigo James Porter to play the rub-board, a percussion instrument from Louisiana, USA, instead of the traditional güira.

Mambo is a music and dance style from the island of Cuba. It started as a variation of the danzón, based on an African rhythm, and it soon became popular in the nightclubs of Havana, Cuba, and spread from there to Mexico and New York City. In the 1950s mambo music and dancing became a mania in the United States. Mambo bands were typically large, with huge brass sections; Mister Felipe is delighted to be joined on The Calendario Mambo by Ben Wright on tuba, John Huxsol on clarinet, and David Costanza on trumpet.

A slow rhythm, related to the son, that originated in Cuba in the late 1800s. Bolero songs typically have beautiful, romantic lyrics?so much for that in Mister Felipe's songs! Across Latin America, when a bolero song comes on the radio you can count on older couples to get up and dance?it is a lovely sight. Justin Dean adds violin to Vamos Afuera, and David Costanza's trumpet fills out the bridge of Tengo Hambre.

A simplified form of the mambo, chachachá (or cha-cha-cha) was created by a violinist and band leader from Cuba named Enrique Jorrín in the mid-1950s. It became popular in the dancehalls of Havana, Cuba and New York and spread around the world. The name comes from the sound the dancers' feet make!

Vals is the same as the English word waltz, a dance beat in 3/4 time?you can recognize it from its "Oom-pah-pah" pattern. It originated in what is now southern Germany in the mid-1700s and spread to Latin America through Mexico, and is well-known in ballroom-dancing circles. De Colores is a classic folk song, sung in many places en la América Latina. Simón Orona adds his traditional accordion style, which he learned in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, enrich the song. Los pajaritos were recorded in Mister Felipe's neighbor's trees.

Reggaetón is perhaps the newest style of Latin music. It originated in Panamá during the early 1990s and has spread throughout Latin America, especially to Puerto Rico, and from there on to the United States, Europe, and Asia. Based mostly in urban communities, it combines Jamaican reggae and dancehall music with many Latin styles and with North American hiphop, Part of what makes a song reggaetón are its electronic drum beat going, "boom ch-boom-chick", and the rapping. Believe it or not, Mister Felipe loves to rap. David Costanza had a fun time recording the trumpet parts on this song.

More than just a rhythm, ranchera is a style of music that developed in Mexico in the 1800s. The ranchera songs on this album are in a polka rhythm, following a 2/4 "Oom-pah" beat. Polka made its way to Mexico from Germany.The name comes from the word "rancho", where many of the songs were originally written, and the music became popular in Mexico after their Revolution throwing out the aristocratic Europeans. Simón Orona has played ranchera music on his accordion since before Mister Felipe was born!

Rock n' roll, baby! Rock n' roll! It started in the USA in the mid-1900s, and spread all over the world. There is an incredible wealth of "Rock en español", ranging from the stellar to the pathetic, including the Colombian superstar Shakira, the Mexican group Maná, and the Argentinian Manu Chao, not to mention North American groups like Los Lobos. Gracias to John Huxsol, who plays the drums on "From A to Zeta", and Omar Rane, who tears up the electric guitar.

There is so much more to learn! Keep listening and exploring! Mister Felipe is working on some new songs en otros ritmos, such as salsa y cumbia.