Recently, native son Anderson .Paak paid homage to his hometown via his latest album, Oxnard, and a weekend-long record release party at the Oxnard Performing Arts and Convention Center (PACC). This Friday will present the opportunity to catch other hot local musicians at the PACC, when Las Cafeteras makes a rare but welcome appearance.
Using Afro-Mexican beats, rhythms and rhymes while telling modern-day stories with socially relevant and inspiring lyrics, Las Cafeteras documents the stories of a community seeking love and justice in the concrete jungle of Southern California. Using traditional son jarocho instruments such as the jarana, requinto and even quijada (a donkey jawbone) while singing in English, Spanish and Spanglish and adding in rock, hip-hop and rancheras, the group serves up an incredibly eclectic soundscape in its shows.
“We piece things together, but the base is traditional Mexican folk music fused with all kinds of contemporary music we grew up in around Southern California,” says the group’s drummer, Jose Cano. “It’s old school meets new school. We’re excited about this show because despite the fact that two of the seven band members [including Ventura-based Jorge Mijangos] live in Ventura County, this is our first public show in Ventura County ever. We usually perform all over the country and internationally.”
Indeed, the band tours five months each year, with treks to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and across Europe last summer. Cano says that band members are eager to be part of the city’s thriving scene, and hope that the PACC show will be “the start of that thread and fabric.”
“Oxnard is a largely hardworking immigrant community and that’s the background of pretty much everyone in the band,” says Cano. “A lot of folks struggle and we grew up that way. . . . We’re storytellers, and we focus on stories of community. We talk about our folks, parents, friends, social justice and immigrants. We create music that we want to use to promote a better tomorrow and a better world.”
Las Cafeteras performs with the Villalobos Brothers at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, at the Oxnard Performing Arts and Convention Center, 800 Hobson Way, Oxnard. For tickets and more information, call 805-486-2424 or visit oxnardperformingarts.com.