Despacito Broke New Ground for Latin Pop – and for its Female Songwriter

Despacito has been steamrolling records – most streamed song of all time, most played song on Youtube, most weeks topping Billboard’s Hot 100 (in the version featuring Justin Beiber with original singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee), most popular song in Spanish. On a more subjective metric, it may be the most pegajoso earworm ever…

The French singer Edith Piaf owes much of her iconic status to having endured and triumphed despite her brutal upbringing – abandoned by her mother, raised in a brothel – and terrible losses throughout her short life. She transmuted her pain and strength into her music, creating a cathartic passage through heartache and beyond. The…

Mozart from Havana in Miami

Listen while you can, Miami. The most in-demand classical music ticket tonight is to the sold-out concert by Simone Dinnerstein, one of the finest classical pianists in the world, with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra at the New World Symphony’s New World Center. The concert is part of a short U.S. tour supporting Mozart in Havana,…

The singular, spectacular Joey Arias

Long before drag was mainstream and creating a gender-blurring self was an activist act, Joey Arias was doing both. The singular diva, singer and artist-entertainer, who performs Friday as part of Fundarte’s Out in the Tropics festival, is a legendary founding figure of New York’s art/music/nightlife underground. A word he scoffs at, one of the…

A New Miami Voice

Inez Barlatier gave her first main stage solo concert on Saturday night. She may be new as a solo artist, but she’s got musical Miami heritage – her father Jan Sebon headed Koleksyon Kazak, a landmark Haitian roots group.