Las Cafeteras Play For Those Who Work Hard to Survive
[Editor's Note: This new Weekly music feature highlights outtakes and personal stories from bands who just finished working their asses off to put out new music.]
Las Cafeteras, a seven-piece Latino folk-fusion band birthed out of the Eastside Café in El Sereno, keep the rhythms of son jarocho at their core, while willing to experiment and explore. The hybridistas just released their full-length debut It's Time a week ago with a stirring show at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights. On the album, the familiar sounds of the marimbol, strumming jaranas and melodious requintos intermingle with indigenous flutes, spoken word verses and hip-hop with songs shifting language gears from Spanish, to English, to Spanglish!
Their anthem "La Bamba Rebelde" takes son jarocho's most recognizable song and utilizes it as a platform for a new generation of Chicano storytellers with the fist in the air refrain "Yo no creo en fronteras, yo cruzaré!" Packing a political punch, Las Cafeteras even flex a little OC civil rights history on "It's Movement Time" with a spoken word reference to the Mendez, et al school desegregation struggle. We like that from our primos to the north, especially when they're heading to Anaheim tonight opening up for the always amazing Lila Downs.
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"Trabajador/Trabajadora" most exemplifies the identify of Las Cafeteras, our philosophy, our musical range, our hystory, and pays homage to the working class, but most intimately, to our parents and grandparents. When Las Cafeteras were writing this piece, my father was very ill and his future was very uncertain. My father was a carpenter, a jack of many trades, a drinker, a contradiction, my baseball coach, a loving man, but always a hard-working Mexican man.
The lyrics, rhythm and energy of this song embodied my gratitude and love for my father as a working man. I think for all Cafeteras, this song was dedicated to the people in our lives that have worked hard for us to not only survive, but thrive, and not just as individuals, but as a community. "Trabajador/Trabajadora," simply put, is an epic song. With jarocho inspired beats, hip-hop, native flute, a deep bass line and sweet poetry, this song captures much of the musical fusion that reflects our identity as a group."
On Bringing Their Socially Conscious Music to the Injustice Plagued City of Anaheim:
"Anaheim reminds me a lot of Hollywood, two cities that have been hidden from public scrutiny due to their ability to wear a mask of money, fantasy and pleasure. The recent public attacks by aggressive armed police was the not the first, nor the last act of violence against the poor neighborhoods of Anaheim, who work so hard to keep the city's pristine reputation. However, the actions made public by social media has ignited a flame of activism that will take more than water to put out.
Playing with Lila Downs here is such an honor. Recently, she was on the Global Village on 90.7 KPFK, hosted by Betto Arcos, and was sharing her deep concern for Mexico and the Mexican people as the country faces widespread violence due to greed and drugs. Lila Downs was able to exemplify on the radio why Las Cafeteras play music because we believe we can help inspire a new world through song and dance, a world that promotes solidarity, love, and communal sacrifice for communal joy and prosperity."
Las Cafeteras open for Lila Downs at the City National Grove of Anaheim, 2200 East Katella Avenue, Anaheim. www.citynationalgroveofanaheim.com; (714) 712-2700. Fri. 8 P.M. $27.50 - 49.50. All Ages.
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