Two of the most innovative bands representing contemporary Latin music will take the stage at Performing Arts Center at Purchase College on February 2. The event, “GlobalFEST: The New Golden Age of Latin Music” is a true blend of Mexican and American sounds. The California-based alt-folk band Las Cafeteras and the Arizona-based indie mambo band Orkesta Mendoza both have roots in Mexico. Each group brings traditional Latin sounds to new extremes, in their own ways, with American-influenced music. Las Cafeteras showcases traditional Mexican folk instruments like the jarana (an eight-string guitar) and quijada (a donkey jawbone used for percussive sounds) while incorporating punk, hip-hop and other American styles. Socially conscious lyrics in both Spanish and English drive home current, relevant themes. Orkesta Mendoza is a sextet that updates the Latin big band tradition by combining mambo and cumbia arrangements with high energy rock, psychedelia and bursts of pop-rock. The GlobalFEST show reflects constantly changing borders, between California and Arizona, and between the United States and Mexico, that introduce new ways of incorporating one another’s cultural identities and musical styles. According to Seth Soloway, Interim Director of the Performing Arts Center, the performance matches the Center’s vision, which includes “creating opportunities for community connection and nurturing the artists of the future.” For more info, visit artscenter.org.
A version of this article first appeared in the February issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.