La Santa Cecilia exemplifies the modern-day creative hybrid. In an era and city in which Latin culture has given birth to many musical fusions, The Los Angeles based six-member band creatively combines up-tempo South American rhythms like Cumbia and Bossa Nova with the nostalgic Bolero and passionate Tango, blending in Afro-Cuban percussion, Rock with Jazzy tunes to bring about a mix that defies any particular label or musical genre. The band’s sound is accentuated by singer Marisoul’s haunting voice, which delivers its message of love, loss and heartbreak in a strong, sensual and powerful...
La Santa Cecilia exemplifies the modern-day creative hybrid. In an era and city in which Latin culture has given birth to many musical fusions, The Los Angeles based six-member band creatively combines up-tempo South American rhythms like Cumbia and Bossa Nova with the nostalgic Bolero and passionate Tango, blending in Afro-Cuban percussion, Rock with Jazzy tunes to bring about a mix that defies any particular label or musical genre. The band’s sound is accentuated by singer Marisoul’s haunting voice, which delivers its message of love, loss and heartbreak in a strong, sensual and powerful performance that leaves crowds mesmerized and women justified in La Santa’s colorful and fiesta-like live shows.
La Santa Cecilia solidifies its successes with its new EP titled "Noche y Citas" produced by 4 time American GRAMMY® winner and 8 time Latin GRAMMY© Awards producer and engineer Sebastian Krys whose credits include a roster of Latin music’s super star recording artists such as: Carlos Vives, Luis Fonsi, Rabanes, Kinky, Ricky Martin and Shakira to name only a few.
La Santa Cecilia, named after the Mexican patron saint of musicians, continues with a prolific year with a handful of selective performances that included opening for LA icon Ozomatli in Los Angeles & San Francisco, as well as individual performances that have met and surpassed expectations thus far in their career. Performances alongside Latin music luminaries such as: Peruvian songstress Susana Baca and Mexican darling Ely Guerra, as well as Raphael Saadiq at the GRAMMY® Benefit Party.
Invitations included renowned festivals in 2010 like South By South West, The Hollywood Bowl Summer Sounds, Telemundo + mun2 'Descarga' concert series, the Chicago World Music Festival, and Diego Rivera Anahuacali Festival in Mexico City in 2009 as well as an appearance in the popular HBO hit series Entourage new season. Beyond a traditional music licensing deal, La Santa Cecilia was asked to perform as well as contribute two songs to an episode, adding joy, color, and a Latin flavor to the quintessential show about the Hollywood scene.
Birth of a saint
The members of La Santa Cecilia met in various ways - some at school, some at a showcase, others at family parties - and some have been friends for years. Influences range from John Coltrane and Miles Davis to The Beatles and Led Zeppelin yet one thing was common to all: a love of music. This affinity gave way to a group concept and in 2007 La Santa Cecilia – named after the Mexican patron saint of musicians – was born.
The band is comprised of guitarist Gloria Estrada, accordion and requinto player Jose Carlos, bassist Alex Bendana, percussionist Miguel Ramirez, drummer Hugo Vargas and lead singer Marisoul.
Each member’s relationship to music is as diverse as the music itself. While some like Jose Carlos and Marisoul are entirely self-taught, others like Alex, Gloria, Hugo and Miguel are trained musicians. Gloria won first place in a jazz competition while Miguel was part of the first Afro-Latino student ensemble to travel to Cuba to study and perform. Alex is pursuing a Masters in Commercial Music. Hugo had a band with his brother and Jose Carlos was prompted by his father to learn an instrument for recreational purposes. Marisoul, a passionate charismatic performer whose influences range from Mexican pop icon Yuri and Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa to Janis Joplin and Annie Lennox, was inspired by her mother’s voice and her father’s love of music. She learned her craft from the various musicians who performed at Olvera Street, a hub of Mexican culture and art located in downtown Los Angeles. Her lyrics are the product of life, love and the drunken rants of her father and friends.
Creativity expanded: Album artwork & Pins
On their debut EP La Santa Cecilia, the band found a way for their fans to take homemade treats in the form of EP artwork. The band arranged painting parties around the city where their CD covers were hand-painted by friends, band members, local artists and fans allowing everyone to become part of this unique creative process. No two covers were the same: the combinations of colorful yarn, images and designs (now from recycled newspapers and magazines, making the product environmentally-friendly) are endless and became a signature for the band.
Taking this artistic concept further, La Santa Cecilia created artistic pins to sell at their live shows. Handcrafted by lead singer Marisoul out of felt, foam and recycled fabrics with designs that range from unicorns, donuts, cacti and sombreros to smiley-faced condoms, the pins have become another trademark for the band and an affordable souvenir for fans to collect at every performance. The band takes a picture with everyone who purchases a pin and that person is then added to La Santa Cecilia’s Pin Pals on the group’s MySpace page.
Through heartfelt music, homemade art and consistent live performances, La Santa Cecilia continues to connect with their fans – many of whom feel the band represents exactly who they are: a new generation of cultural hybrids whose creativity has no boundaries.