Alma del Barrio is a wonderful radio show aired both Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on 88.9 FM in Los Angeles. It goes out from the Malone building at Loyola Marymount University, and it is dedicated to traditional Latin music, including Cuban, Puerto Rican and Colombian salsa, and a bit of other rhythms like Dominican merengue, Hondurean punta, etc.
Last Saturday I volunteered at the studio during their annual fundraiser event. I had great fun talking to dozens of listeners willing to show their appreciation towards the program and its music by making monetary contributions.
In the process, I was fortunate to meet a few of the regular Alma del Barrio DJs, and I must say that they are fabulous people. Gustavo Aragon from Nicaragua, who joined Alma del Barrio twenty five years ago, was DJing along Julio Vigoreauxf rom Puerto Rico, who has been with the show for the past eight years.
The two of them, along with two Cubanos, Mr. Del Toro and Jose Cristobal, created fantastic energy on and off the air. I was pleased to see that these guys are genuine, and that the Alma del Barrio audience really does hear honest and fun people who truly love what they do and the music they play.
Because their work is non-commercial, an annual fundraiser is needed to help cover the expenses. Thankfully, last weekend many listeners appreciatively contributed to the cause and hundreds of pledges were received. In exchange, Alma del Barrio will send back to them hundreds of CDs, T-shirts, jackets, concert tickets, and more that were donated by promoters and artists supporting the program as well. (As a side note, the #1 requested CD was Johnny Polanco's 'Pal' Bailador', several copies of which were donated by Albert Torres, Los Angeles biggest Salsa promoter.)
For many years Alma del Barrio could only be heard in certain parts of Los Angeles due to their limited broadcast area. Luckily, today the radio station is available online, and anyone from anywhere in the world can now listen every weekend to Alma del Barrio?s fabulous group of DJs and their musical expertise, by logging on to http://www.kxlu.com and clicking on the ?Listen to KXLU live? link.
Alma del Barrio is one of the very few non-commercial radio programs in Los Angeles completely dedicated to our Latin music. Treat yourself to their fantastic music show, try out your luck during their concert tickets and CD giveaways, and get all the up-to-date information of what goes on in the Los Angeles Latin scene.
In the very poetic words of Mr. Julio Vigoreaux, Alma del Barrio is truly ?a rainbow of cultures?.