Born and raised in East Los Angeles, the musicians of Las Cafeteras fashion a patchwork quilt of “urgent, relevant music” with infectious live performances.
The contemporary Chicano troubadours mix roots music with Afro-Mexican rhythms and powerful rhymes for a “uniquely Angeleno mishmash of punk, hip-hop, beat music, cumbia, and rock” (Los Angeles Times).
“We sound like we’re from L.A.,” says singer Hector Flores. “There’s a sound, there’s a smell, there’s a taste — and it’s not one thing, it’s a mix.”
The musicians have performed with Mexican musical icons Café Tacuba and Lila Downs; Columbian singer Juanes; hip-hop artist Common; and West Coast legends Ozomatli, Los Lobos, and the LA Phil. The group also has performed for Seattle radio station’s popular web series Live on KEXP, and at festivals such as Bonnaroo and Monterey Jazz.
Las Cafeteras is known for its protest songs and use of traditional instruments to connect cultures and generations. With songs dedicated to United States “Dreamers,” undocumented migrants, and indigenous people being pushed off their land, “Las Cafeteras sing in five distinct languages: English, Spanish, Spanglish, love, and justice,” the band proclaims.
During the Center for the Performing Arts fall 2022 season, the artists conducted a virtual storytelling workshop, “The Sounds of Resistance: From Storytelling to Movement Building.”
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Presented by the Center for the Performing Arts in collaboration with the Penn State Hispanic Heritage Month Committee, the Indigenous Faculty and Staff Alliance, and the Penn State Educational Equity Equal Opportunity Planning Committee.