Chicano band inspires audience

Jinwei Zhang, Staff Writer

Las Cafeteras, a Chicano band from East Los Angeles, captivated the audience with fusion music at De Anza College on March 5.

“This performance is a part of the Latino heritage event,” said Jorge Morales, who organized the event. “They give us a wonderful Latino culture performance.”

The performers included vocalist Leah Gallegos, marimbol player Annette Torres, cajon player Jose Cano, jarocho player David Flores and zapateado player Hector Flores.

Many audience members started singing along and danced with the music in front of the stage, enjoying the songs and company.

Las Cafeteras was founded in 2005 by the students of Son Jarocho classes at Eastside Cafe in El Sereno, Los Angeles.

“When we met each other, we wanted to create a music which may encourage people to feel free to share their stories in music,” said Gallegos. “So we started to play our fusion music. We want everyone to live a life of love.”

The band members’ love of music stemmed from their childhood and upbringing.

“We all have our root music from our parents and our home countries’ culture,” said Fores. “What La Cafeteras do is to combine them with the American music styles to create a new fusion of music.”

Influences from hip-hop, folk and Native American sounds can be found in their songs.

Las Cafeteras’s first studio album “It’s Time” was featured on NPR, KCRW, the Los Angeles Times and other magazines that drew attention to the band and its music.

LaQuisha Beckum, psychology instructor, is a fan of Las Cafeteras, and also an old friend of the band members.

She said she loves music because it is a great way to connect with other people.

“Even you don’t understand Spanish, you can still feel their spirit. This is the power of music,” she said.

Gabriela Larios, 19, biology major, said Las Cafeteras’ music was inspiring and it was easy to move to.

Carlos Morales, 18, kinesiology major, said he was inspired by the energetic music .

He thought the music brought a good vibe to the campus and allowed  everyone  to  have some fun.

Roxana Cardoza, a south bay area resident, came to De Anza especially to see Las Cafeteras perform.

“Many people were involved and engaged in the concert,” she said.

The music was lively enough to get everyone in the room dancing.