The seven-piece band, representing four different countries (Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, USA), prides itself on arranging traditional South American rhythms in new and interesting ways, such
as huayño and cumbia with Middle-Eastern darbuka or mixing Afro-Cuban bata and Afro-
Peruvian festejo with Andean zampoñas, among several other rhythmic combinations. This kind of experimentation, coupled with blending ancestral traditions with a modern sensibility, has resulted in an exciting and distinct Latin flavor all its own that leaves dancing crowds always wanting more.
Lyrically and musically, Baracutanga proposes to build bridges between the south and the north, overcoming the barriers of discrimination. Aside from their affinity and respect for native rhythms from the lands of their ancestors, the group finds common ground in creating songs that cross linguistic and cultural barriers, promoting intercultural experiences that empower Latinos with a positive message of self-affirmation. They fervently oppose all types of violence and conceive their music as a vessel to increase and acknowledge cultural pluralism.
Baragutanga‘s live shows are joyous, intense and explosive with fronting duties split between powerful Peruvian songstress Jackie Zamora and the band’s exuberant beating heart,
Bolivian multi-instrumentalist Kilko Paz (son of famed Bolivian activist Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui). Added magic comes from extraordinary Ecuadorian multi-instrumentalist Carlos Noboa. The group is rounded out by an extremely talented and inventive cast performing on guitars, horns, flutes, accordions, vibes, an array of percussion and all manner of string instruments and is often joined on stage by Afro-Peruvian and Latin dancers.
With their first full-length studio album, Importados, (recorded in Albuquerque, NM, Santa Fe, NM and Cadiz, Spain) released on September 2015, multiple regional awards and recognition, a performance at the Calgary Folk Music Festival, performances across the Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and California, with stops in NOLA, Austin and México, and an ever-growing fan base, New Mexico-based Baracutanga is ready to spread their fresh take and mix of South American flavors to national and international audiences.
Baracutanga is: Nicholas Baker (USA) – Drum kit, vibraphone, accordion, auxiliary percussion, vocals; Paul Gonzales (USA) –Trumpet and Brazilian percussion; Micah Hood (USA) – Trombone and auxiliary percussion; Carlos Noboa (Ecuador) – Bass, quena, and vocals; Kilko Paz (Bolivia) – Drum kit, surdos, charango, Peruvian cajón and vocals; Randy Sanchez (USA) – Guitar, bass and Cuban tres ; Jackie Zamora (Perú) – Lead vocal.
Odara is an n Afro-Cuban and Brazilian Dance Company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“Odara” is frequently used today in Afro-Brazilian expressions and music. It has come to signify the idea of supreme beauty associated with all that is good and positive.
The Brazilian expression “Ficar odara” (“to become odara”) means to become spiritually and ritually prepared to connect with gods, to attain harmony with the earth and the heavens.
Frank Leto is a multidimensional artist who has found a balance between professional musician and professional educator. His lifelong pursuit of musical knowledge has led him to appreciate the music of many cultures. Frank’s talent as a composer has allowed him to share this love for music with his peers, students and community.
Frank is a talented instrumentalist who plays Brazilian percussion, Afro-Cuban percussion and Trinidadian Steel Drums. Frank’s band PANdemonium, features Frank on vocals, steel drums and percussion. He writes all the music for the band which blends musical styles like reggae, ska, soca, calypso, samba, salsa and zouk into his own unique sound. PANdemonium has recorded two World Music CDs.