The granddaddy of all latin music programs in Los Angeles, Alma del Barrio has been going strong on the airwaves of KXLU since the fall of 1973, when started by then-students Enrique “Kiki” Soto and Raul Villa.
** The following two paragraphs were taken from an article about us in Latin Beat Magazine and best describes Alma del Barrio’s history and style
Education about the music the show plays–its roots and its artists–was part of Raul and Kiki’s vision for the show, and remains an integral element of programming to this day. From ongoing readings of key segments of John Storm Roberts The Latin Tinge, to call in shows concerning immigration, specials on Benny Moré, golden oldies, and in-depth interviews with legends like Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Eddie Palmieri, Manny Oquendo and Andy González, Jerry González, Ray Barretto, Chucho Valdés, Los Papines, Cachao, Roberto Roena, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and many others, keep listeners informed.
Music critic Gregory Sandow described Alma del Barrio this way, in an article in time L.A. Herald Examiner: “Because it’s non-commercial, the show can be anything it wants, and in fact ends up highlighting–and exemplifying–Latino culture of all kinds. Guests discuss Latino film, Latino poetry, or Latino painting; Spanish flows into English, and English into Spanish; listeners call in requests, celebrating life and love. And throughout all of it runs time pulsing rhythm of the music, spiked–listen to the bass, the piano, the layered percussion–with darting offbeats. It’s an enticing musical universe, the soul of a culture whose presence should enrich the lives of everyone who Jives here.”