Carlos Niño & Friends Release New Album ‘Placenta’ with “Birthworkers Magic, and how we get hear…” (ft. André 3000)

Photo by Todd Weaver
May 24 2024

Love to all Doulas!
Some rest for the Midwives…
Real Vital Organs
Surges Expansions
In Appreciation of Chico Hamilton’s Vast Influence on the West Coast Sound
Birthworkers Magic and how we get hear…
This “I” was not
Placenta Nourishment New Home The Galaxy
Carla’s Beads
Moonlight Watsu in Dub
Generous Pelvis
Play Kerri Chandler’s RAIN

“Birthworkers Magic, and how we get hear… is out now, stream it here.

Placenta is out now, purchase it here.

Today, visionary percussionist, producer, curator, and communicator Carlos Niño, who’s “the spiritual force behind L.A.’s eclectic music scene” (The New York Times), shares the music of a new Carlos Niño & Friends collection called Placenta via International Anthem. “Birthworkers Magic, and how we get hear…” is also out today on all streaming platforms, featuring André 3000 on Quetzacoatl Flute, vocals from Maia, and Jesse Peterson on Guimbri. It’s a perfect description of the album, which Niño has dedicated to “Mothers, Children, Babies, Aunties, Doulas, Midwives, Birthworkers…” Listen to “Birthworkers Magic, and how we get hear…” and purchase Placenta here.

This album is the fourth collection of Carlos Niño & Friends music released by International Anthem in the last four years, and the first released since Niño made news in November 2023 for André 3000’s New Blue Sun  an album which Niño produced alongside André, while co-writing, co-creating/playing, and co-mixing every song.

Placenta was announced on the 1st solar return of Carlos and his partner Annelise’s new Earth child Moss Niño. Their experience of pregnancy, labor and delivery were all profoundly impactful for Carlos. Becoming a father again (a whole 24 years after the birth of Azul Niño, who has become a regular Visual Arts collaborator with Carlos) he felt total inspiration for this set of recordings, and hence it is perhaps the most conceptually-grounded Carlos Niño & Friends album we’ve yet to present – fully connected to the spirit of family, birth, and “how we get here.”

Placenta features many musicians living and working in Los Angeles – the community which Niño is deeply rooted in, himself. Some live in other parts of the world; almost all are longtime friends and collaborators of Niño’s. In order of their appearance on the album, featured artists on Placenta include: Nate Mercereau, Jamire Williams, Sam Gendel, Jamael Dean, Dexter Story, Brandon Eugene Owens, Maia, André 3000, Jesse Peterson, Ariel Kalma, Surya Botofasina, Annelise, Haize Hawke, Aaron Shaw, Devin Daniels, Tiffany de Leon, Michael Bolger, Michael Alvidrez, Moss, Iasos, Photay, Deantoni Parks, Adam Rudolph, Andres Renteria, and Cavana Lee.

Since early 2024, Niño has been touring as performer and music director for the New Blue Sun Live experience, beginning with a January 24th performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. See the full list of upcoming shows and ticket links for New Blue Sun Live here.

Niño found space between the New Blue Sun dates to lead his own Carlos Niño & Friends ensemble in a celebration of the release of Placenta in Los Angeles, May 24th at 2220 Arts & Archives. The last time that Carlos Niño & Friends played at 2220 Arts was Friday, July 22, 2022 with Nate Mercereau, Surya Botofasina, Aaron Shaw, Diego Gaeta, Andres Renteria, Maia, V.C.R., Annelise, Linafornia, and special guest Kamasi Washington. Who will play this time? Come hear, come see. Tickets are available here.


Carlos Niño is a Los Angeles-based percussionist, album producer, connector, and radical empath. Over the past 25 years, he’s been a central figure in LA’s musicker community, having produced countless live events, numerous bands and many recording projects. He doesn’t confine himself within genres, and is adamant that, for him, friendships make the greatest creative collaborations.

A prolific album Producer, expansive Percussionist, experimental Composer, connector, communicator, Niño is known primarily for his main project Carlos Niño & Friends, and for his extensive work on André 3000 New Blue Sun. Previously Niño made albums as/with Ammoncontact, Build An Ark, The Life Force Trio, and others. Niño sites Iasos, Laraaji, Luis Pérez Ixoneztli, Adam Rudolph, Idris Ackamoor, Pharoah Sanders, Don Cherry, Yusef Lateef, Alice Coltrane, Airto, Kamau Daaood, Dwight Trible, Dexter Story, Jesse Peterson, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Jamire Williams, Deantoni Parks, Surya Botofasina, Nate Mercereau, and André 3000 as among his “closest Mentors, Influences, Elders, and peers, all of whom I know well, (or at least met several times,) in this life . . .”

Niño describes his “Carlos Niño & Friends” sound as “Spiritual, Improvisational, Space Collage.” He qualifies: “Why Spiritual? Because there is always a spiritual intention and center, feeling and vibrational message in these records. Why Improvisational? Because I approach the making of this music without any preconceived structures, I just open up to what I am hearing and feeling and experiment until I get the pieces where I want them. The preparation and information in the improvisations is our whole lives. It’s an open state of communication. Why Space Collage? Because it’s all about relationship and perspective, interval, layering, moving, listening, and massaging the mixes…”