Catalina Maria Johnson

International radio broadcaster, music curator, cultural journalist

About

I love to write and radio about music!

The one-hour radio program I host and produce, Beat Latino, airs on Vocalo (Chicago Public Media), in Berlin and is archived weekly. Beat Latino segments air biweekly in Mexico City and Beat Latino specials are also licensed in well over 20 states throughout the U.S.A. through the Public Radio Exchange. I have also collaborated on NPR – series such as Latin Roots on World Café and Alt Latino. It is also my pleasure to regularly contribute to Global Notes on WBEZ (Chicago Public Radio.

In terms of music writing, I have a weekly column in Spanish - HOY (Tribune Media) and a monthly column in Revista Contratiempo. In English, I contribute to online outlets such as Gozamos, and the Chicago Music.

I have to credit the tenacious insistence of a Mexican mom and a German/Swedish dad for the extraordinary gift of a bilingual and bicultural heritage. Thanks to them, I grew up between two cities named St. Louis, one in Missouri, and the other, San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Having traveled extensively and lived in Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Honduras, Colombia, and other Latin countries, as well as having circled the globe at least once, visiting most of Europe, India, Japan, Kenya and Senegal, my work in radio and writing highlights the extraordinary diversity of the global music scene with a particular emphasis on Latin and Latino music – from the most traditional roots music to cutting-edge electronic grooves.

All of this, because I truly believe that the creative art of music is central to humanity, as it holds an enormous revelatory and transformative force that brings different peoples together, and shares the best parts of us as we use melodies and rhythms to express our hearts and cultures.

To quote Woody Guthrie:

Music is the language of the mind that travels
Carries the key to the laws of time and space
Lonesome train whistling down the silent wail of wind
Life is the sound, creation has been a song.”