The following was produced in partnership with our friends at Spotify.
Hola, Fatherinos! If that’s how you plan to greet your buddies at this year’s Cinco De Mayo fiesta, you need to listen to Lucky Diaz’s playlist of Spanish kids’ music … ahora mismo. Not because it’s educational, as you might assume thanks to all those Sesame Street Spanish lessons from the ’80s (shout out to Maria), but because, as Diaz puts it, “It’s just rad music.”
Diaz was born in Mexico but won critical acclaim, plus a Latin Grammy, in the US after a visit to his parents’ home in San Miguel de Allende with his daughter inspired him to create music to help her connect to her roots. What he found was that the process was also a personal journey for him. “It was more important to me than I gave it credit for,” he says. Now, Diaz and his Family Jam Band, which he fronts with his wife, Alisha Gaddis, are at the forefront of a niche within a niche (Spanish Kindie … Kindito?), spinning traditional Latin music forward for a new generation that doesn’t necessarily speak the language. He just assumed that audience was your 4-year-old and not necessarily, you know, you. But hey, it’s Cinco De Mayo, and on this day, everyone needs to know the words, “Piñata attack! Whack whack whack!”
The Song: “Eres Tú”
Why It Rocks: Morrison is a Latin Grammy-winning artist from Arizona leading a new era in Mexican indie-pop. “There’s much more to Mexican music than mariachis,” Diaz says. “Carla comes from a brand new tradition that sounds like it could’ve come from Williamsburg or any of those ‘cool’ places.” With a title that sounds like it came from Tommy Boy. It definitely didn’t.
Why It Rocks: LaFourcade completes the trio of powerhouse female vocalists driving Mexican pop, and may be the most successful. She won 5 Latin Grammys in 2015, including Record and Song of the Year. “She’s so cool,” says Diaz, “yet she sings a song about ducks with no pretense and it’s just so great.” True. From now on, the duck says, “Cua cua,” kids!
The Track: “De Colores”Why It Rocks: The famed children’s author and educator bought traditional, Romantico style Mexican children’s music to the US and performs educational music in transformative fashion. Diaz has covered this tune, which he says just makes you happy. However, he admits, “Orozco is a genius; he’s already forgotten more than I’ll ever know about anything, especially Spanish children’s music. He’s the king.”
For all of the above, plus even more of Lucky Diaz’s favorite Spanish family tunes, check out the full playlist.
This article was originally published on