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Whenever traveling abroad, I find a good way to get to know the culture and history of a country is through music. Whenever a significant cultural event takes place somewhere, you can be sure there will be some important music coming out of that time and place from the social commentators in the music world. From the evolution of blues music in the early parts of the 20th century, through the civil rights era of the 60’s, to the modern day, we’ve had musicians all along the way documenting their experiences and leaving us with a sonic history lesson of sorts. When people think of Brazil in terms of music, bossa nova is usually one of the first things to come to mind. Thanks in large part to Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes’ 1962 Grammy award winning “The Girl from Ipanema”, Brazil and bossa nova music are inextricably...

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Listen to this link: Romnia Cortez performs live at La Colina del Molinos   We always seek out local music on our Argentina tours and Romina brought some of us to tears I love Argentine music and even used to play in an Argentine folk group in college, so I couldn't wait until we went to our first pena. A pena in South America, especially in Argentina and Chile, is a cheap, popular venue where folk music is played and simple food and drink are served in a casual, friendly environ. Usually music is in the form of Nueva Canción, the kind of music popularised in the 60's and 70's by Chilean and Argentine musicians singing about social justice, the environment and grassroots culture. Considering what attire to wear, Anne asked me what to expect at a pena so when I told her its a casual local cafe with live music...
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