Los Mocosos bring Latin spice to the table

Reventon, n. Chicano-Latino slang for one heck of party.

Who: Los Mocosos

What: Zoophorus

Where: Boot Pub Fairgrounds

When: Aug. 31

There’s hot.

And then there’s spicy.

"We like to call it Latin Soul," says lead vocalist Manny Martinez.

Once that meant a specific Latino audience for sounds of Los Mocosos, the seven-piece "little Latin rascals."

But with an expansion of musical styles and an attempt to reach mainstream radio stations, the spicy explosion from these music veterans is gathering new listeners while they tour.

"Originally the band was geared (towards Latin sounds), but (as with) anything else artistic you can’t put that constraint on things," adds Martinez.

"The core of the band is Latino, and there’s a lot of that in us, but we were brought up in the States with rock and funk and other stuff."

Adding feathers to the gig hat, Los Mocosos were asked to perform with the Latin Warped tour Watcha in 1999, a variation of the annual high-energy Vans Warped tour.

Their bio is impressive, a band whose members, from the heart of San Francisco’s Mission district, have played with among others Prince, Primus, and Love & Rockets.

With a few lineup changes since 1997, the band’s lineup for Whistler’s Zoophorus features Victor Castro, Hawaiian-born Gordon Ramos (tenor sax), Steve Carter (keyboards), Henry Padilla, Fabian Paredes (drums), and Mike Lazarus.

"We’re more of a band than we’ve ever been," adds Martinez, who says Holland was one highlight from a recent tour of Europe.

"People were up and out of their seats!"

When comparing their sound to other bands, listeners also mention hints of Santana, Ozomatli – the wild percussion troupe that played at this year’s World Ski and Snowboard Festival – and rock group Mana. And that’s the kind of shakin’ the band’s music makes you want to do.

"Music feeds my soul. We’re definitely not doing this for the money," Martinez adds.

The band’s second album, Shades of Brown , "… is less political than the first," says Martinez.

Their first album, Mocos Locos , received extensive on-air play on college campuses with the single Brown and Proud, from former member Happy Sanchez.

The album received critical acclaim for its political voice tagged with funky beats. The album was touched with the zesty hint of Cuban piano, while a rendition of the James Bond theme song Thunderball was too good for listeners to pass up.

For a little sizzlin’ Spanish rhythm with touch of hip-hop, check out their show on Aug. 31.


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