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A Despedida Playlist To Bid POTUS Farewell

President Barack Obama speaks during a taping of "In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina," a concert celebrating Hispanic musical heritage, at the White House in October 2009.
Saul Loeb
/
AFP/Getty Images
President Barack Obama speaks during a taping of "In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina," a concert celebrating Hispanic musical heritage, at the White House in October 2009.

While history shows that just about every president who's lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue hosted some kind of musical performance while occupying the White House, President Barack Obama may have been the most musical president of our lifetime. Artists as varied as Earth Wind & Fire, Bob Dylan and Maná have boogied in the historic East Room during the last eight years.

President Obama has also proven himself to be a master mixtape compiler: first using his iPod, then moving over to Spotify to let us know what was on his mind, musically speaking. And he included quite a bit of Latin music along the way.

So this week, as a way to say thanks and so long, we pull out the piles of cassettes he sent us — or would have sent us, if we knew each other and he wasn't busy being the President of the United States — and select some tracks that would have made it onto an Alt.Latino playlist.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.