In 2005, rooted in community and tradition, a group of students learning Son Jarocho music became known as ‘Los Cafeteros,’ named after the Eastside Los Angeles Cafe community centre they helped found. They soon changed their name to Las Cafeteras to honor the feminine spirit of the group and evolved into a performance group aimed at sharing Afro-Mexican music from Southern Veracruz, Mexico.
Over the years, Las Cafeteras developed a genre-bending sound and electric live performance with lyrically rich storytelling about the reality of migrant life in Los Angeles. They were inspired not only by Mexican music, but by rock, reggae, hip-hop and Motown, their music building bridges among different cultures and communities.
Their sound is brought to life by four distinct vocalist and their eclectic instrumentation, including jaranas, a donkey jawbone, a West African bass instrument, cajón, and a wooden platform used to dance Zapateado.
The success of their first studio album “It’s Time” launched the band to new heights, placing them on stages with Mexican icons Café Tacuba, Lila Downs, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. They’ve since toured North America from the Santa Barbara Bowl in California to the Lincoln Center in New York; from the Montreal Jazz Festival to Art Basil in Miami.
Las Cafeteras play music with the spirit that can only be explained through an ancient African Proverb, “if you can walk, you can dance, and if you can talk you can sing.”