Latino USA listener Clarisa Poeliniz sent us the following urgent request:


Dear Latino USA,

It’s December 11th and I am in the middle of planning a New year’s/birthday party for my sister who turns 40. This should be fun but I am stressing out about the music. We are inviting friends and family. My dilemma is: we are Mexican and the majority of our family will want traditional Mexican music-ranchera, nortena, etc… While the “kids” my sister, the primo/ primas and myself do very much appreciate our Mexcian heritage. We all speak Spanish and we can definitely sing along to many songs from our beloved “Chente” osea Vicente Fernandez. 

For this party we have many friends who do not speak Spanish. I want everyone to have fun and enjoy the music. How do I incorporate Frank Sinatra with Los Panchos, top 40 hits in Engish and Spanish. I am desperate can you recommend a play list for my New Year’s Fiesta?




We’ve got your back, Clarisa!


Latino USA music consultant Nadia Reiman created this playlist for you and for all of the other Latino USA listeners looking to strike the right mood this holiday season.


1)  Como te Extraño by Cafe Tacvba 

It’s a cover, so it will please your abuelos but it has that touch that won’t make your primos pass out.



2) Cumbio by Campo

Everyone loves to get tangoed up!



3) Político by MIS

Fun and dancey without being offensive, and also in Spanish so your tías will know you can still throw down in the mother tongue.



4) Bailar Bien Bailar Mal by Gepe featuring Carla Morrison

Soft and nice, good background music, a little dreamy, good for chowing down tamales.



5) Amor, Amor de Mis Amores, the Natalia Lafourcade Agustín Lara cover

A good mix of old and new, a good old romantic hit that your abuelos will recognize and it has Devendra Banhart, so your anglo friends won’t feel excluded.



6) El Extraño by Los Master Plus

Mexy cover of Radiohead’s Creep. Who doesn’t love!



7) Palmar by Caloncho

This seems to be a crossover, intergenerational hit.



8) Pide Piso by Bajofondo

Really, really great tequilazo cocktail music



9) Aquella Ciudad by Ulises Hadjis

Pretty, thoughtful, charming tunes en Español to maybe get your familia to talk about Venezuela in a not-political context.



10) El Tren (Mr. Cumbia Man) by Celso Piña y su Ronda Bogotá

Fun dancey and spiked with that well-known cumbia sound that makes you want to shake your booty.



11) Monedita by La Santa Cecilia

Super fun appropriate for all ages party music with LA sprinkled in. What’s not to love?



12) Flores by Las Acevedo

Adorable, lovable, luau music that will make you want to go to the beach and will not offend the older generations.




Nadia Reiman has been a radio producer since 2005. Before joining the Latino USA team, Nadia produced for StoryCorps for almost five years. Her work there on 9/11 stories earned her a Peabody Award. She has also mixed audio for animations, assisted on podcasts for magazines, and program managed translations for Canon Latin America. Nadia has also produced for None on Record editing and mixing stories of queer Africans, and worked on a Spanish language radio show called Epicentro based out of Washington DC. She graduated from Kenyon College with a double major in International Studies and Spanish Literature



Photo courtesy of Flickr user Bill Rogers. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.