Latin Beat

We asked South Bay residents with a passion for Latin culture to share with us their favorite films, sounds & reads with roots as close as neighboring Mexico to distant Spain.

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  • Edited by
    Cassidy Strawn

Alisha Sabrowsky | Music Teacher

Cavallaro With That Latin Beat by Carmen Cavallaro

“A music album that is a great mixture of skillful, happy piano riffs and soothing tunes—that keeps me going at any time of the day. Cavallaro is a timeless artist, and his music will always have a place on my shelf.”

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents | by Julia Alvarez

“This novel flows backwards through the lives of the Garcia family, 

revealing the struggles of their immigration to the United States from the Dominican Republic, in a series of short stories. I am especially fond of this novel, because it is a story about a family as much as it is a story about a culture.”


Kristin Gierman | Spanish Teacher and Tutor 

Vivir Para Contarla/Living to Tell the Tale

“The autobiography of foremost Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. Like a patchwork quilt, the events of his personal and family life reveal the interwoven memories of mystical and magical happenings.” 


“An ironically tragic and humorous film about Raimunda (Penelope Cruz),

 a stern, hard-working and attractive mother whose life is challenged by the discovery of her family’s hidden truths. Filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is known for his spicy commentaries on politics and sexuality. Although this film is considered to be one of his tamest, it is no exception to his thematic choice.”


Thomas Ortega | Head Chef at Ortega 120


“Anything from Ozomatli is great. Although the music is completely Latin, it spans all of America and the Latin countries. It has a variety and diversity that we like to capture in our music and drinks.” 


Alina Sachs  | Salsa teacher at You Can Dance Studio

Tito Puente

“His songs are very rhythmical. The rhythm is not too slow, not too fast; it’s just perfect for students. Then they go out to clubs, and they hear his songs playing there and they know it. They can dance to the same songs in the class.”

Celia Cruz

“We usually use the Celia Cruz music for salsa group classes and private lessons, because her music is very energetic and easy to dance to. The most important thing is that students love it!”