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From North Carolina To Buenos Aires With Che Apalache

Che Apalache performing live for World Cafe
Jamie Stow
Che Apalache performing live for World Cafe

Have you ever felt the urge to drop everything and move, because maybe your hometown leaves you feeling like you can't totally be yourself in some way?

The leader of Che Apalache has certainly felt that: Joe Troop decided when he was in college that he needed to go explore who he was outside of the confines of North Carolina. He went from studying abroad in Spain to immigrating to Argentina. But Joe did bring a piece of home with him — his banjo — and that is how he found his calling in Buenos Aires. Together with three of his former banjo students, Joe started to create music that combines the Latin American influences of his adopted home with the bluegrass he grew up on. The result is entirely unique — so much so that banjo master Béla Fleck decided to produce the group's debut album, Rearrange My Heart.

Che Apalache stopped by World Cafe to play a live set in front of an audience. Joe shared his story — what made him leave North Carolina, his life as an American immigrant in Argentina, the beginnings of the band and how he sees the U.S. now that he has spent a decade abroad.

This interview was recorded in September and was former host Talia Schlanger's last with World Cafe.

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