Marisa Arbona-Ruiz

As the humanitarian and political crisis continued to mount in her native Venezuela, Ane Diaz turned to the folk songs that shaped her early life and put her own spin on them, as a way to protect what she considers national treasures.

One of the bands I'm thrilled to catch at SXSW is Balún, who will be part of a showcase of Latin bands this week. When I first met the Brooklyn-based band at NuevoFest in Philadelphia last summer, they really stood out for their exciting, genre-morphing explorations into alternative rock, electronic pop and Puerto Rican folkloric grooves.

Colombian vocalist J Balvin is still riding the huge wave created by last year's Latin music explosion.

There is another revolution happening in Cuba these days.

A group of young female musicians — including Daymé Arocena, Danay Suárez and the all-female band Jane Bunnett and Maqueque — are challenging both musical and cultural conventions, creating innovative Afro-Cuban music fused with a variety of genres like R&B, hip-hop, reggae, electronica and jazz.

Natalia Lafourcade has developed a knack for releasing albums that her fans didn't know they were waiting for.