Saturday, Mar 8, 2014 - 8:00 pm, $15.00
Latin Fusion Dance Party with Chicha Libre
Starting in the 1960s in the Peruvian Amazon, largely poor, indigenous oil-boom workers mashed up the Afro-Caribbean rhythms of Colombian cumbia with Peruvian indigenous music and surf and psychedelic guitar riffs from the United States. In hindhearing, the music that resulted could easily have come from some of today's better "world music" acts, if the recordings were slightly sharper. The pioneers of the 1960s and 70s dubbed their genre "chicha," after the delicious traditional Incan corn beer. Now, Brooklyn band Chicha Libre is updating it for our era.
Chicha Libre was started as a way to pay tribute to the music. The group includes musicians associated with the Brooklyn barbès and includes Keyboardist Joshua Camp, who is one half of lit-rock group One Ring Zero and plays an antiquated accordion/organ hybrid manufactured by Hohner called the Electravox; Olivier Conan (who also play with Las Rubias del Norte and is responsible for The Roots of Chicha compilations) on Cuatro and vocals; Bassist Nicholas Cudahy whose former band, Combustible Edison, knew a thing or two about pop syncretism; Guitarist Vincent Douglas (of bands Bébé Eiffel & The Humphries) and percussionists Greg Burrows (Andy Statman) and Neil Ochoa (SiSe & Los Crema Paraiso).
While Chicha Libre's repertoire has evolved somewhat from the Peruvian canon, the sound and approach are completely indebted to the Peruvian bands it originally emulated. Like them, they use surf guitar, organ sounds and latin percussion to play a mixture of borrowed and homegrown sounds. The borrowings are somewhat different - classical music and pop debris from 3 continents in Chicha Libre's case - but the latin rhythms that form the basis of the music are both as close and as foreign to them as they were to the Shipibo Indians who first took up the electric guitar.
Chicha Libre has performed all over the world, including Turkey, The UK, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Colombia, the US and Canada. They have showcased at WOMEX, in Copenhagen, and Globalfest, in NYC. They have played in Los angeles with guitarist Jose Carballo, of Chacalon y la Nueva Crema fame, and in Berlin with Ranil, the legendary cumbiero from Iquitos. They have toured with cambodian psych-band Dengue Fever and shared the stage with Brazilian Girls and the Orchestre Poly-rythmo de Cotonou.
Chicha Libre's music has been featured in the TV show Weeds and a Simpsons 20th anniversary special in which they were asked to play the Simpsons theme "chicha" style alongside the likes of Red Hot Chili Pepper and ZZ Top. Their first CD, Sonido Amazonico, is available from Barbès Records in North America, Crammed Disc in Europe and Random Records in South America.
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