Artist To Watch

WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe

XPN2 - Jingle Jams

XPN's own Kris Kringle, (Robert Drake) is presenting a unique mix of seasonal songs celebrating both the holiday and winter seasons.

World Cafe Archives

Join the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.
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Y La Bamba - May 2019

May’s Artist To Watch is Y La Bamba. They’ll be joining us for NON-COMM AND #XPNfest this summer.


Y La Bamba is the musical nom de plume of Luz Elena Mendoza. Menodza formed the group in 2006 in Portland, Oregon, and created an eclectic mix of folk, ethereal pop, and traditional Latin music. The daughter of immigrants from Michoacan, Mexico, she’s worked with an evolving cast of players on her records, however at the heart of Y La Bamba is Mendoza’s musical vision. The band’s recent album is Mujeres. ”Mujeres” is Spanish for woman, and the album is a musically rich, highly textured collection of songs about identity and womanhood. On it Mendoza blends indie-rock with Mexican folk music with uncompromising confidence.
We’ve been playing a song called “Quatro Crazy” from the album and was a Gotta Hear Song of the Week in mid-March.