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  • People's Picks: Sounds of California by Betto Arcos

    California is a land of musical riches. After all, the so-called Golden State has been a destination for immigrants from all over the world. This playlist reflects that richness in all its splendor. From Woody Guthrie to Babatunde Olatunji, from traditional Afghani music to Chicano rock, and from Armenian wedding music to the Kronos Quartet, we have music that celebrates life.

    Betto Arcos

    Betto Arcos with Smithsonian Folkways director Daniel Sheehy. Photo by Elisa Hough

    This playlist features all songs from the extensive Smithsonian Folkways Recordings catalog, including many artists who will perform at the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival as part of the Sounds of California program.

    Read full song-by-song annotations

    California is a land of musical riches. After all, the so-called Golden State has been a destination for immigrants from all over the world. This playlist reflects that richness in all its splendor. From Woody Guthrie to Babatunde Olatunji, from traditional Afghani music to Chicano rock, and from Armenian wedding music to the Kronos Quartet, we have music that celebrates life.

    Betto Arcos

    Betto Arcos with Smithsonian Folkways director Daniel Sheehy. Photo by Elisa Hough

    This playlist features all songs from the extensive Smithsonian Folkways Recordings catalog, including many artists who will perform at the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival as part of the Sounds of California program.

    Read full song-by-song annotations