Calaveras County Arts Council is proud to present the Latin fusion band, Los Pinguos, in concert on Sunday, February 26 at 3 p.m. The concert will be held at the Dr. Elliott Smart Performing Arts Center at Bret Harte High School in Angels Camp, CA.
Los Pinguos Latin dance music sets Angels Camp on fire
It’s a good thing the Dr. Elliott Smart Performing Arts Center, aka the Bret Harte Theatre, has such wide aisles, because on Sunday, February 26, when Los Pinguos starts playing their energetic mix of salsa, rock, reggae, rumba flamenca, and even traditional tango, you might just want to jump up and dance between the seats. Everything about this music is happy. “Every time we play, people dance,” said guitar player and lead singer Adrian Buono. “When we play in the theatre, the audience starts sitting down, but by the end, they’re standing up.” Once this band riffles through the first few chords, you’ll be shaking it for all you’re worth.
Los Pinguos started playing urban clubs and festivals in Buenos Aires in the 90s, where they honed their sound in dance clubs and at private parties. After coming to California in 2001 and gaining recognition as a dance band and a successful street band, they caught the ear of a talent scout who urged them to audition for Ed McMahon’s show, “The Next Big Star.” They won that show and have been getting people up and dancing ever since, recording with Kufala Records and Putamayo World Music, and performing with performers like Ozomatli, Yerba Buena, Plácido Domingo, and Suzanne Vega. If their music sounds a bit familiar, it’s because it’s been on TV shows such as "The Shield", "The L Word", and is featured in the Antonio Banderas & Emma Thompson film "Imagining Argentina".
Four musicians make exciting music
They’re a tight band, with close harmonies, detailed rhythms and excellent phrasing. That comes as no surprise; they’ve been playing together for years. Buono and bass player Santiago Lee traded tunes as teenagers in Buenos Aires, and Jose Agote, on guitar and vocals, has been with the band since 1999, after ten years performing and recording in Argentina. The new kid, Pablo Medina, keyboard player, has been with the band for four years, and brings experience from a variety of bands in the L.A. area.
These four musicians will blend vocals with acoustic guitars, electric bass and keyboards to create a textured, rhythm-driven sound that can range from romantic tropical ballads to head-bopping ska-infused rock. Their repertoire ranges widely and mixes styles freely; their most recent album, Regardel, blends traditional tango with reggae, while their more traditional work leans on Cuban music like rumba flamenco. “It’s world music,” Buono said, “It’s impossible to call it one style. Some songs are more urban, some more flamenco. It’s Latin music! The sound is unique.”
The Los Pinguos concert is part of the Ovations 2017 Performing Arts Series, a concert series presented by the Calaveras County Arts Council, a 35-year old non-profit organization, partially funded by the California Arts Council, a State agency.
Tickets are available at calaverasarts.org, 209/754-1774, at the office/gallery at 22 Main St. in San Andreas, or at the theatre box office starting at 2:30 pm the day of the concert. The Bret Harte Theatre is located at 323 Highway 49, Angels Camp, where there’s plenty of free parking and many designated handicapped seats.
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