LA's La Santa Cecilia is coming down to Santa Ana today for a benefit bailongo. The six-piece's cross-generational appeal
brings its mesh of various Latin American musical genres to a community dance party at Taco Adobe.
They're lending the OC their talents, in part, to assist one
of Santa Ana's most active community organizations; The Orange County
DREAM Team. The Dreamers were recently able to pressure Democratic
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez to co-sponsor the DREAM Act,–legislation
that would establish a pathway to citizenship for undocumented college
students–but the action doesn't stop there. Knowing that “a revolution
without dancing is not a revolution worth having,” La Santa Cecilia
hopes on Friday to generate fun and funds for the OCDT's future
Traveling outside LA's bars, clubs, and community centers, La Santa Cecilia spent the first half of
this year getting to know audiences outside its home base with shows in
Santa Barbara and Bakersfield. The sextetplan to visit the Bay Area later this year.
challenging but at the same time it's been fun,” says guitarist Gloria
Estrada. “Anytime we have gone out of LA, we've been well received and
people have welcomed our music,” she adds. Last March, La Santa Cecilia traveled
to Austin for the annual South by Southwest
Music and Media Conference and Festival.
Wherever they go, they conquer. From infectious cumbias to clever
klezmer, La Santa Cecilia loves to mix up its musical style during
performances, even adding a bilingual cover of The Beatles' classic
“Strawberry Fields Forever” to set lists. The formula works like a charm
as audiences are slowly seduced onto the dance
The chemistry of the musical lab technicians is responsible for
the phenomenon. “We're always experimenting with styles and genres,” the
guitarist says of her band's eclectic approach. Accordionist/Requintero
Jose Carlos' melodies, along with Estrada's clean tone and jazzy
influences fit perfectly with charismatic lead singer Marisoul's
passionate, commanding vocals. Bassist Alex Bendana, percussionist
Miguel “Oso” Ramirez, and drummer Victor Hugo Vargas come together to
forge a disciplined and ever improving rhythm section that keeps the
Performing for causes is also a familiar part of La Santa Cecilia's
resume. Though none of their songs are explicitly political, community
organizers know the power of a good band to bring people in to an event.
The band members are more than happy to help–whether in Los Angeles or in Orange County, where their previous engagements in Santa Ana and Anaheim
have already developed a small, but growing following. “Orange County is
becoming our home away from home,” Estrada notes in the middle of band
rehearsal. “Sometimes we underestimate ourselves, but our crowd is
growing out there for sure. Even people from LA drive out there to see
On Friday, in benefit of the OC DREAM Team, the spaceless Latino
youth of OC will get to enjoy a night of music with a band their
primos in LA have had the privilege of dancing to all too often! Doors
open at 6:30 p.m. and space is limited, so plan on getting there early.
Who knows? Now that Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is a co-sponsor, maybe she'll even show up for this opportunity to throw chancla for
the DREAM Act!
La Santa Cecilia with Special Guests at Taco Adobe, 1319
N. Main Street, Santa Ana, 92701. 7-11 p.m. $6 suggested donation.