From José Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” to Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe’s “La Murga,” there are sacred titles in the songbook of contemporary Latin Christmas music. Each year, we look for more tunes to add to the playlist — and as we count down the last days before Christmas 2017, here are eight new tracks with holiday spirit that we’re listening to.
The Chamanas with Jay de la Cueva and Los Niños de Hogar Bethel, “Hacia Belén va una burra Rin, rin”
The Chamanas, whose members come from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and Moderatto singer Jay de la Cueva perform this sweet classic holiday carol with residents of los Niños de Hogar Bethel home in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Victor Manuelle, “Mi Navidad No Se Apaga”
Salsa star Victor Manuelle, rapper PJ Sin Suela and the rootsy tropical group La Tribu de Abrante has a special message for Puerto Rico this season with this song:.Party on. Even if there are no lights on the Christmas tree this year as blackouts continue in Puerto Rico months after the destruction wrought by hurricanes Irma and Maria, Manuelle and his cohorts hope to ensure that holiday cheer will persevere to the tune of “Mi Navidad No Se Apaga.”
É Arenas, “Buñuelos a Monton”
Song about food are as crucial for a Latin Christmas, as, well, food. For those tired of the same musical menu, Chicano Batman É Arenas comes to the rescue with a new cumbia track that name checks “a ton of buñuelos” plus a Mexican-style feast that includes tamales, menudo con pata, and the chocolate delight champurrado.
Tito Nieves, “El Culito del Pan”
Another food-inspired song on this year’s holiday menu is El Culito de Pan” (“The Bread Butt”), Tito Nieves’ rousing declaration to pork, particularly his love to the crusty end of a baguette that, in Nieves’ view, makes for the best leftover lechón sandwich.
Grupo Mania, “Navidad Con Vela”
Puerto Rican band Grupo Mania will be celebrating Christmas by candlelight this year. Like Victor Manuelle’s “Mi Navidad No Se Apaga” and a growing number of other songs that reference post-hurricane Puerto Rico, the merengue group’s “Esta Navidad Con Vela” is designed to lift holiday spirit s in trying times.
Carla Morrison, “Al Filo de Medianoche”
Mexican indie chanteuse Carla Morrison ‘s soulful “Al Filo de Medianoche,” the Spanish version of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” debuted this month on Amazon Music’s Acoustic Christmas playlist.
Susto, “Feliz Navidad”
Alt country/Americana group Susto recorded a cover of the bilingual holiday favorite “Feliz Navidad.” The band’s Justin Osborne told Billboard that he feels the band caught the message of unity and cheer of the classic José Feliciano song.
Olga Tañon, “La Vida es un Carnaval”
Olga Tañon’s version of the celebratory song made famous by Celia Cruz is featured on the soundtrack of this year’s Banco Popular of Puerto Rico’s Christmas special, Nuestra Isla, Nuestra Encanto.