Felix Contreras is a reporter and producer for NPR's Arts Desk specializing in coverage of jazz, world music, and Latino arts and culture. He is also the co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's new web based program about Latin Alternative music.

As a producer and reporter for the NPR's Arts desk, Contreras has covered arts and technology issues; reported a series of stories on the financial challenges facing aging jazz musicians; and recently profiled a legendary Mexican singer for the "50 Great Voices" series. He once stood on the stage of the legendary jazz club The Village Vanguard after interviewing the club's owner and swears he felt the spirits of Coltrane and Monk walking through the room.

The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Student Forgotten In Holding Cell: 'Changes Have To Be Made'

Daniel Chong appears at a news conference on Tuesday in San Diego.
K. C. Alfred UT San Diego

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:43 am

Daniel Chong, a California college senior, was forgotten in a federal holding cell without food or water for five days.

Today, he told All Things Considered's Audie Cornish that the five days tested his sanity and his resolve to live.

"I didn't stay sane," Chong said. "Eventually, by the second or third night ... I went completely insane and was just trying to get a grip on reality, on what's happening to me."

Chong said at one point he thought about using his glasses to cut into his arm and kill himself.

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Monkey See
4:02 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Implausibles, Assemble!: Other Hollywood Character Pile-Ups We'd Like To See

Rene Mansi iStockphoto.com

The Avengers is getting a lot of mileage out of uniting the stars of several different films for one big, knock-down-drag-out superfilm in which there are so many people floating in from hither and yon that you would be forgiven for expecting a cameo from Plastic Man. (There isn't one.)

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The Salt
3:36 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

How To Tip-Toe Into The Hot Sauce Craze

Tami Franklin tries a variety of hot sauces on her barbecue ribs at Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company in Arlington, Va.
John Rose NPR

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:43 am

If you listen to my story above, you'll know that hot sauce production is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States.

And you'll learn that research finds chili-heads — people who love the burn of spicy food — tend to have a penchant for sensation-seeking. Think rollercoasters and action flicks.

So you wanna jump in, but you're new to the hot sauce world?

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Reports: Facebook Will Set IPO Pricing After Markets Close

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 4:45 pm

Update at 4:39 p.m. ET. $28 To $35:

The AP reports that Facebook has set a price range for its initial public offering between $28 and $35.

The AP adds:

"At the high end, this could raise as much as $11.8 billion. That's much higher than any other Internet IPO in the past, even Google Inc. in 2004."

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Movie Reviews
2:57 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

'The Avengers': Superheroic Popcorn Fun At Its Best

promo
Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:43 am

That crashing sound you'll hear emanating from cineplexes this weekend will be the sound of comic-book superheroes smashing box-office records.

Actually, the smashing started last weekend, when Marvel's The Avengers opened in 39 territories around the world, scooping up a cool $178 million in three days. And with legions of fans having already bought advance tickets in the U.S., it's a pretty sure bet the box-office bonanza will continue as the film opens in more than 4,000 North American theaters.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Finish This Sentence: 'Before I Die, I Want To ...'

From the Before I Die wall in New Orleans.
Candy Chang

Artist Candy Chang turned the wall of an abandoned house in New Orleans into "a giant chalkboard where residents can write on the wall and remember what is important to them."

And since putting up that public art project in February 2011, "Before I Die" walls have spread to at least 19 cities around the world. Friday, a wall goes up in Denver.

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It's All Politics
2:43 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Democrats Keep Getting Dinged For Hitting GOP On Women's Health, Loans

MoveOn.org

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 3:00 pm

Democrats keep getting dinged by media fact checkers for attacking Republicans for allegedly wanting to strip money from preventive health programs to pay for to keep the interest rates on some student loans from doubling this summer.

But that hasn't stopped progressives from continuing to make the claim. The latest comes in a new full-page MoveOn.org ad in Politico. The ad reads in part:

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Does Junior Seau's Death Point To A 'Chargers Curse'?

Linebacker Junior Seau of the San Diego Chargers during Super Bowl XXIX against the San Francisco 49ers; Jan. 29, 1995.
Rick Stewart Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 4:08 pm

The death of former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau, at age 43 in an apparent suicide, has shocked the sports world.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

'Be Richer' By Learning From Parents' Mistakes

Money — how to make it, and what to do with it when you have it — can be problematic for recent graduates.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 11:29 am

College seniors graduating in 2012 face a sluggish economy, bleak job prospects and a mountain of student loan debt. To make matters worse, many don't have the first clue about how to manage their personal finances.

Author Zac Bissonnette, a recent college graduate himself, learned how to handle money by watching his parents' mistakes and ignoring most of their advice. He put himself through college without loans, scholarships or help from his parents.

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