There's something distinctly familiar about the Latin powerhouse Boogaloo Assassins. Maybe it's that authentically greasy mixture of sharp brass, pounding drums, thick bass and gang vocals that hearkens back to the time of sweaty basement parties on a hot summer night in Spanish-Harlem...pre-reggaeton. Maybe it's the fact that pretty much everyone in the band comes from another Latin or ska inspired act you may have seen before (i.e. Ocean 11, Police and Thieves, See Spot, The Chris Murray Combo, The Debonaires...the list goes on).
Whatever reason you find yourself drawn to the Latin fusion of this all-star cast of seasoned players, one thing is certain...they will make you dance. Combining the flavors of everything from boogaloo, traditional salsa, cumbia and funk, there are few territories south of the equator that this robust line-up of local cats fail to address.
They have made a name for themselves by bouncing back and forth between LA and OC, stringing a line of fans with them wherever they go. With their aim steady and their rhythm strong, they just might get you next.
OC Weekly: Who in the band does what?
Charles and Benjamin Farrar- vocals "Boogaloo" Bill Purdy- piano and vocals Robert "Bobby Soul" Mc Lachlan- vocals and maracas Eddie "Chiquis" Lozoya- bass Bill 'Goods" Rojas- timbales Darren Everage- congas Sergio Padilla- bongo/bell Richi Panta- guiro and maracas Joe Bautista- tenor sax Tom Cook- trombone
OCW: What motivated you to start the band?
Bill Purdy: Singer Chuck Farrar and I met in ska band Ocean 11, and we had jammed a little on some traditional son-montunos and boogaloos. We realized we shared the same musical fantasy of playing Latin music with a more 60's vibe, so we begin to jam informally with friends and over time it grew into the Boogaloo Assassins.
OCW: Who are your biggest influences and why?
BP: The biggest influences on our sound would probably be Ray Barretto and Joe Cuba. They really created the "boogaloo" sound we play, yet they played traditional styles and salsa perfectly too.
OCW: What's the best thing that has happened to your band? What's the Worst?
Bobby Soul: Last summer we got the opportunity to headline the distinguished Getty Center Summer Sessions. Also this past year have shared the stage with 70's soul/funk legends RAMP (Backing band for Roy Ayers) , NYC disco funk electro group Chin Chin, as well as Afro-Beat/Freestyle production team Chico Mann at the Echoplex in LA. Worst thing- Eating bad shrimp before a show..... long story! And bad monitors!
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OCW: There are millions of bands and solo artists creating music now. Why should people listen to you?
BS: Because when I'm sitting in my car at a red light, and the raised truck next to me is bumping T.I. "Whateva You Like" it's annoying! Millions of bands doing the exact same thing isn't progress. Wake Up, and dig a little deeper for music, your kids will thank you later!
Boogaloo Assassins perform at:
Long Beach Mardi Gras
Pine Ave. Pier
Sat. Feb. 21, 5 p.m. Free.