Latin alternative

Latin alternative, or "alterlatino", is a brand of Latin rock music produced by combining genres like alternative rock, lofi, chillout, metal, electronica, hip hop, new wave, pop rock, punk rock, reggae, and ska with traditional Ibero-American sounds, in Latin Europeans and Latin Americans countries (spanish, italian, portuguese, french and catalan languages).


Rock music has been produced in Iberian America since the late 1950s. Some rock bands started to use unusual instruments such as maracas and quenas. In the late 1960s, artists like Santana started using a different technique to make rock music; by incorporating influences of Latin jazz. Its sound was incorporated by young Latino-players in the US, as an answer to the rock en Español movement in Hispanic America and Spain led by bands like Héroes del Silencio, Karamelo Santo, Soda Stereo, Caifanes or Los Prisioneros.

In the early 1990s, it was used by Mexican bands such as Maldita Vecindad and Café Tacuba, they were accepted on the Latino circuit in the US, especially by the Mexican community. Subsequently, experimental musician Lynda Thomas earned recognition and commercial success with alternative music in the same decade.

With the passage of time and many musical styles in the US-Latino, Latin alternative has become as diverse as the rock music genre itself. Today, many music journalists and fans regard Latin alternative as a subgenre of rock en Español, and like rock en Español, it may be further divided into more specific genres of music.

Events and media coverage

The most known event of Latin alternative is the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) that every year gathers a large number of bands from all over the Americas and Spain. It was first held in Los Angeles but two years ago the new host city was changed to New York. The 2009 event featured artists from across the Americas including Argentina's Juana Molina, Puerto Rican hip-hop and reggaeton outfit Calle 13, Colombian group Bomba Estéreo, Brazilian singer-songwriter Curumin and Mexico's Natalia Lafourcade, and was profiled along with the wider Latin alternative scene in an article in The New York Times.[1]

Notable bands and artists by country




  • Santa Lucia LFR
  • The Mariachi Ghost



Costa Rica


Dominican Republic




Puerto Rico


United States



Record labels for Latin alternative music

See also


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