The New Golden Age of Latin Music is being created right here in the United States. The Mexican-American communities of Arizona and California have emerged as hotbeds of musical creativity, merging styles that reflect the changing borders and shared cultural identities between Mexico and the United States. Orkesta Mendoza and Las Cafeteras are two of today’s most exciting bands, forging inspired new paths for the fabled Latin sound.
The infectious indie mambo band Orkesta Mendoza mix a multitude of Latin styles like cumbia, merengue and ranchera through a psychedelic mambo and post-punk prism, creating a truly one-of-a-kind sound. Bandleader, keyboardist, guitarist and vocalist Sergio Mendoza (who has long collaborated with Calexico and Devotchka) leads a powerhouse band fronted by the rich baritone of vocalist and dancer Salvador Duran, and framed by guitar, keyboard, percussion, drums and brass.
Alternative Chicano band Las Cafeteras recreate traditional Afro-Caribbean Son Jarocho music in a wildy vibrant style. Their rousing socially conscious messages, in English and Spanglish, tell stories of a community that is looking for love and fighting for justice in the concrete jungle of East LA. The band is accompanied by instruments including jarana and requinto guitars, a donkey jawbone and a tarima, a wooden platform for dancing.”