by Ruben Estrada
On Thursday, April 20, the Community Center for the Performing Arts and KLCC proudly welcome Las Cafeteras back to the WOW Hall.
Las Cafeteras use music to connect people of all backgrounds. Hailing from a diverse neighborhood in East L.A., the band is inspired by influences around the globe. Whether it be the Mexican rancheras their immigrant parents played in their house, the socially charged lyrics of Tupac and NWA, or international figures such as Fela Kuti and Manu Chao, they have an appetite for powerful music and infuse a plethora of styles into their performances. A single night with Las Cafeteras can include (but is never limited to) melancholy love ballads, folk tunes and powerful spoken words songs.
Despite embracing several styles of music from around the globe, the group preserves its cultural roots through maintaining the Afro-Mexican Son jarocho style they grew up listening to. They use instruments such as the jarana (a small guitar typical to the Veracruz region of Mexico), quijada (donkey jawbone scraper), and the cajón (a box drum) to recreate the traditional sounds they grew up listening to, while still using the universality of folk music to transcend genres.
Five years after the release of their debut studio album, Las Cafeteras are back in 2017 with Tastes Like L.A. The album is sure to touch on previous topics such as social justice and the joys and struggles of the communities they were raised in.
Their first single off the album, “If I Was President”, was released February 20 (President’s Day). The song calls for free education, reform in the criminal justice system, clean water for all, and more.
While certainly politically driven, Las Cafeteras never box themselves into one category. Listeners can expect a project full of different emotions and themes when Tastes Like L.A. is released on April 14.
Folk, hip-hop, rock and reggae fans alike can rejoice as they have the opportunity to hear a genre-bending group when Las Cafeteras come to Eugene on April 20.
Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Doors open at 7:00 pm and showtime is 8:00.