From Cumbia Navideña to Classic Villancicos: This is What Latin America Listens to at Christmas

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In addition to delicious food, drinks, and obviously spending quality time with your loved ones, every Noche Buena gathering needs great music. To help you out (and give you a little snapshot of Christmas across Latin America), we asked some of our favorite producers to curate individual playlists with the music they’ll be listening to at home this weekend. Get ready to take a musical tour through the Andes, the Amazonian jungle, and the Caribbean coasts, with Nitido en el Nintendo, Cero39, Erick Rincon, Deltatron, D’Jordan, and former Tego Calderon collaborator Hiram Abrante from La Tribu de Abrante as your guides.


Deltatron (Peru)

“My Christmases are almost the same every year. I go to my grandparents’ house which is in Vistalegre, the neighborhood where I grew up. We eat turkey and panetón; we drink hot chocolate and champagne. After being with my grandparents, my mom, my uncles, and my family in general, we go out to set off fireworks. In fact, that’s one of the cooler things [about Christmas], because people are very enthusiastic about the fireworks and the whole neighborhood ends up full of smoke. After that, I go to the mall which is a few blocks away, and we stay up drinking until dawn.

People who are from there (or know people from there) understand what it’s like – [there are] like 200 people, lots of cars, motorcycles, and cops trying to kick us out, but people stay up drinking and don’t care about anything. It’s only once a year, so the neighbors allow it because we’re little angels [laughs].

This playlist is what I would play if I was drunk at my house. They’re Christmas songs that I like, my favorites of the year, and the ones that make me nostalgic.” –Deltatron

D'Jordan (Chile)

“Being a DJ has its advantages and disadvantages. Unfortunately at Christmas, there are more disadvantages, since you always have to be away from home, you don’t get to eat very well, and you spend it at the club playing track after track while everybody is super happy and wearing new clothes. I spend Christmas with my girlfriend, my pets, and blunts, at our personal after-party in our living room. Verde y gloriosa navidad.” –D’Jordan

Erick Rincon (Mexico)

“These are some songs that I would play at a Christmas party, taking into account uncles, cousins, grown ones, and young ones!” –Erick Rincon

Nitido en el Nintendo (Dominican Republic)

“[This is how I spend] Christmas: with family, with friends, eating an almost crispy, roasted cerdito, and making music. [I’m] reflecting on this year’s accomplishments, but preparing a plan of attack for the year to come.” –Nitido en el Nintendo

Cero 39 (Colombia)

“Every memory matters, every excuse to dance and drink matters, all the music that uncles, grandpas, moms, and dads like matters. [We’re] gathering to celebrate and enjoy what was and what’s to come.” –Cero 39

La Tribu de Abrante (Puerto Rico)

“There’s nothing like Christmas in Puerto Rico. We like to spend it with our family and lots of food, partying all night long. There’s always coquito and drums, too, so we can sing to a bomba rhythm.” –Hiram Abrante, La Tribu de Abrante