Formed in 2009, Santos Perdidos met when they played together as part of John Calloway’s Afro-Cuban Ensemble at San Francisco State University. With its strong vocal harmonies and rich sound, the band’s developing repertoire includes traditional music from Cuba, Peru, Colombia, Mexico & Spain as well as an expanding collection of original compositions. An acoustic group ranging in size from trio to sextet, they play an eclectic mix of Cuban son, Spanish Rumba, Bolero, and Afro-Peruvian Lando. Santos Perdidos’ first gig at the Mission Arts & Performance Project (MAPP) in the ‘Secret Garden,’ set the tone for their involvement in community events, and from there they have played shows at venues as varied as Mission “locals” El Rio and Coda, to Yoshi’s and the De Young Museum.
Every year the North Fair Oaks Community Festival welcomes the community to enjoy a day of free live entertainment, arts and crafts, food and beverages, children’s rides and activities, and a festive parade. The festival proceeds benefit the many youth programs of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and provide scholarships through the Queen of the Festival scholarship program. Youth programs keep our youth safe and occupied during the critical, after-school hours and during the most vulnerable years of their school careers.
Manuel Romero singer, song writer, and guitarist expresses his Orgullo through his music and for his Latino roots and for Silicon Valley. He performs for local sports teams, the President of Mexico, as well a having performed for the Pope John Paul II in Mexico City.
Romero made his first recording at age nine. He adds, “Ever since I was just two years old … (his family) they have videos of me singing at the house with him (my father) playing at the house.”
Interview with Manuel Romero by Alex Ontiveros on traditional mariachi musical talent, vision, and proud heritage.
Written by Eydie Mendoza | Videos by Jose Posadas
Voces Del Desierto is a musical composition and performance debut by Quinteto Latino, a Silicon Valley based quintet, and exhibit of fused musical traditional instruments with objects found in the dessert border of Texas and Mexico, brought to audiences at MACLA this March 2012 (Sunday, March 18, 2012, 2pm).
Don’t miss this performance that “utilizes video, traditional wind instruments, and hand-made instruments created from immigrants’ personal belongings found at the border.”
Enjoy video performances by the quintet and an SVL exclusive inter view with Armando Castellano here.
Voces del Desierto: Performance 1 by Quintato Latino
Voces del Desirto: Performance 2 by Quintato Latino
Interview with Armando Castellano about Quintato Latino (A chamber ensemble made up of a clarinet, flute, French horn, oboe and bassoon) and howVoces Del Desierto gives voice to anyone crossing borders in search of a better life. Castellano tells about his musical journey and the collaborative ensemble by Composer Guillermo Galindo who created the instruments and wrote a piece for Castellano’s quintet.
Written by Eydie Mendoza | Videos by Jose Posadas
For more performance information visit Quinteto Latino Voces Del Deseirto.
If you haven’t heard Nortec Collective Bostich + Fussible‘s (Nortec Collective) music yet, it is time to adjust the dial on your internal soundtrack of the Mexican borderlands. This is not your papi’s norteño. Nortec is based on the unmistakable banda, tambora, norteño sounds common to northern Mexico. They build on these traditions and mix it with electronica to create music that crosses cultural boundaries, producing a sound that is as just as norteño as it is techno (Nor+tec).
Nortec Collective began in late 1990s when Ramón Amezcua (aka Bostich) founded the record label Mil Records,with Pepe Mogt (Fussible). Members of the collective have gone on to produce various musical projects under the names Clorofila, Hiboreal, Bostich and Fussible. Some of their earlier works brought together their electronic dance grooves with a musical identity firmly rooted in Tijuana. Their tune Tijuana Makes Me Happy begins with “Some people call it the happiest place on earth,” captures their essential idea of honoring their hometown.
Nortec‘s 2010 Grammy nominated album, Bulevar 2000 (Nacional Records) builds a longer bridge across the border. The album is lyrically stronger than previous works and one gets the sense that they are narrating a journey. The title track, Bulevar 2000 is haunting and enchanting where the tuba sounds like a heart-beat while driving along a highway trying to forget your lost love. It is “not a love song,” but it really is. Many of the lyrics on Bulevar are in English, including Centinela, which tells the story of star-crossed lovers that can only meet once a year on Día de Los Muertos. Nortec also teamed up with San Francisco based Loquat on the track I Count the Ways.
A Nortec Collective Bostich + Fussible show is a multi-sensory event and offers the best avenue to experience their distinct intersection of the contemporary and traditional Mexican music. On stage, DJs Bostich + Fussible are accompanied by musicians playing the sousaphone (tuba), accordion and trumpet. Their self-created DJ station has a futuristic 1960s look to it and the duo alternates between iPads and Tenori-on (a tablet of LED switches that create sounds). They complete their illustrated soundscape by projecting color-rich images of Tijuana behind the stage. Watching Nortec, you get the sense that they are creating music not only for their audience, but with their audience, as the relationship between the musicians, the sound, images and lights work in tandem to raise the energy of the crowd to a dancing frenzy.
Nortec have been outspoken critics of internet censorship. You can get many of their remixes free on SoundCloud, where they reached a million downloads of their tracks by the beginning of February 2012.
If you never thought you would be getting down to norteño and electronica, now is the time to try it. Nortec Collective Bostich + Fussible are performing at the New Parish in Oakland, Calif. on March 13th.
¡No te lo pierdas!
Written by Michelle Siprut
“My first real recording in late 2007 but in 2008 I made my first album,” says Xavier Toscano, local recording artist and performer.
He had the desire to sing since he was a child but took lessons and began singing after high school. “I built up the courage to do it.”
In November 2007, he recorded his first song and then was approached to do a video that was played on Logo.
“I submitted some songs to Wild 94.9 and they gave me a dedicated space for my music and videos, but because they are part of Clear Channel, I am on other stations like iHeartRadio.” His latest album was submitted Pandora since August 2011 and can be heard there too.
He writes his own lyrics and says the music inspires his writing. Xavier has two CDs recorded and some digital remixes. His first CD, Mighty Real contains songs like “Dimelo” a hip bilingual song, and “Moving On,” his personal favorite. The second CD is titled X, with songs like “I’m Sinking” that is about addiction, and “Awake” which he says, “The song simply reflects my perception of the chaos in the world.”
His current inspiration is Top 40 radio, loves the simplicity of pop music and it’s catchy, in the sense that it is simple. “It (Top 40) is basically the soundtrack of everyone’s life even if you don’t like it, because you hear it everywhere.”
He expresses his high appreciation for the producers because they are the backbone of the music industry.
His parents, both laborers, moved to San Jose from Mexico. Xavier was raised in East San Jose since age 5 and grew up with the desire to sing. “My dad is a big Vicente Fernandez fan so I listened to him.” His family, including eight uncles that also resided in San Jose, had an extensive collection of vinyl records in English and Spanish especially funk and hip-hop in the 1980s.
“I picked up English really fast and a lot of the kids I hung out with spoke English, so I listened to a lot of hip-hop, so that was huge for me.”
Xavier shares, “Anyone who is interested in getting into music and the arts should treat it as a process and to not give up.”
“I was petrified of performing so I didn’t start performing a lot but March 2008 I recorded the album so I literally pushed myself to start performing. He approached local bars and open mics, as I got more comfortable it switched and people started asking me (to perform).”
Xavier overcame his biggest challenges as a shy person, petrified to perform on stage and of being booed off-stage by facing them. “That was my biggest fear, but when it happened, it felt awful but I didn’t get off stage. I finished my 30 minute set.” He tells, “I still get nervous but it’s not as bad. People respond better when the performer seems to be having fun.”
“Seeing him perform on stage inspires me to someday perform on stage,” adds his nephew, Carlos Toscano age 16, an aspiring vocalist.
“My biggest goal is to sign a record deal.” His current focus is on performing and is holding off on recording for now.
He is performing at Oscar Night in Sacramento on January 26, 2012. He also has additional initiations to perform in some out of state festivals. Has also filmed commercials and acting is fun but I prefer singing to acting.
Xavier Toscano featured Video Threw Me Away from the CD titled X
Written by Eydie Mendoza | Photos by Patricia Ruiz