Celebrate the Mexican-American experience in the U.S. through song, dance, music and film in this new multi-media production, featuring multiple Grammy Award-winners Los Lobos and dancers from Ballet Folklorico Mexicano.
Los Lobos still are:
Louie Perez- Drums, Guitars, Percussion, Vocals
Steve Berlin- Saxophone, Percussion, Flute, Midsax, Harmonica, Melodica
Cesar Rosas- Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin
Conrad Lozano- Bass, Guitarron, Vocals
David Hidalgo- Vocals, Guitar, Accordion, Percussion, Bass, Keyboards, Melodica, Drums, Violin, Banjo
Enrique "Bugs" Gonzalez - Drums/Percussion
More than three decades have passed since Los Lobos released their debut album, Just Another Band from East L.A. Since then they’ve repeatedly disproven that title—Los Lobos isn’t “just another” anything, but rather a band that has consistently evolved artistically while never losing sight of their humble roots.
Los Lobos were already East L.A. neighborhood legends, Sunset Strip regulars and a Grammy Award winning band (Best Mexican-American/Tejano Music Performance) by the time they recorded their major label debut How Will The Wolf Survive? in 1984.
Although the album’s name and title song were inspired by a National Geographic article about real life wolves in the wild, the band—David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano and Steve Berlin—saw parallels with their struggle to gain mainstream rock success while maintaining their Mexican roots. Perez, the band’s drummer, once called their powerhouse mix of rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music “the soundtrack of the barrio.” Three decades, two more Grammys, a worldwide smash single (“La Bamba”) and thousands of rollicking performances across the globe later, Los Lobos is surviving quite well -- and still jamming with thesame raw intensity as they had when they began in that garage in 1973. The band chronicles a key moment of their expansive journey on Disconnected In New York City, a dynamic live album that marks the band’s 40th anniversary and launches their new association with 429 Records.
Recorded over two nights in December 2012 at The City Winery in NYC, the engaging 12-song set celebrates Los Lobos’ great legacy as a freewheeling and unpredictable live band, which most recently includes touring in Europe with Neil Young and Crazy Horse in June 2013. Disconnected in New York City features fresh interpretations of songs from throughout their three decade recording career, including their first ever live recording of “La Bamba,” their worldwide pop crossover hit from the 1987 film whichreached #1 on the U.S. and UK singles chart and whose video won a 1988 MTV Music Video Award. The collection covers the band’s 25 year studio discography, from “Gotta Let You Know” (a bouncy zydeco rocker driven by Hidalgo’s accordion from How Will The Wolf Survive?) through “Tin Can Trust,” a bluesy rock ballad that was the title cut from their last studio release in 2010.
By design, Disconnected in New York City has songs that have been longtime staples of Los Lobos’ tours mixed with other gems that had somehow fallen by the wayside over the years. The mix includes the mid-tempo shuffling rocker title track from The Neighborhood (1990); the easy flowing and whimsical (thanks to Berlin’s jazzy sax solo) “Oh Yeah” (from This Time, 1999); the spirited, traditional flavored, Rosas penned Spanish language “Chuco’s Cumbia” (from The Town and the City, 2006); the graceful and spiritual “Tears of God” (from By The Light of the Moon1987); “La Venganza de Los Pelados,” a fiery burst of Latin rock fusion with mariachi textures (from The Ride, 2004); the soulful, simmering blues of “Little Things” (from The Town and The City, 2006); the Latin blues funk classic “Set Me Free Rosa Lee” (from By The Light of the Moon); and two mid tempo funk pop/rock tunes from 2002’s Good Morning Aztlan, “Maria Christina” and “Malaque.”
As per the literal meaning of its title, Disconnected In New York City sets itself apart from Los Lobos’ other acclaimed live recordings (most notably, 2005’s Live At the Fillmore) by stripping down the instrumentation for a mostly acoustic affair. Lozano, who drives the grooves with his bass and also plays the deep-bodied Mexican 6-string acoustic bass called the guitarron, says, “It’s funny because when the venue hired us, they specifically requested that we do something acoustic to fit its smaller dinner house vibe. The idea popped into our heads to ask them if we could record it and they were cool with that. “We’re well known for our electric, high energy performances but we’ve done acoustic stuff for certain smaller auditorium tours,” he says. “Playing these songs acoustically makes them feel more intimate. We notice that when you play softer and quieter, the audience tends to pay attention to everything we’re doing. When you play rock, they’re thinking more about rhythm than melodies and lyrics, but playing them this way allows for more subtle elements of the songs to stand out.”
Looking back at the historical and cultural sweep of the band, Lozano sees the release of Disconnected In New York City as Los Lobos coming full circle. “A lot of people forget that though we were rock musicians when we got out of high school, the band started off as an acoustic outfit,” he says. “We wanted to play Mexican folk music because those were our roots and there was this whole Chicano awareness thing happening back in the early 70s. We started to pay attention to our traditions and culture, and focused on those styles of music for years. We studied music from every region of Mexico, learned how to play all these authentic instruments. So that’s what we did for ten years until we decided to play rock again by bringing in drum and electric bass.
“We were playing this restaurant gig for two years, and some small local clubs, playing the same songs, when people in the crowd started shouting out, ‘Do you know any Beatles or Grateful Dead tunes?’” Lozano adds. “Soon we got fired from the restaurant and headed back to the garage to write our first original songs that were rock with some accordion on them: ‘Let’s Say Goodnight’ and ‘How Much Can I Do?’ We made a little tape and gave it to the guys in The Blasters, which included Steve Berlin, when we went to see them live on Sunset Strip. They loved our tunes and invited us to open their show at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, which was the first time Los Lobos performed on the other side of the Los Angeles River. We played some originals and old favorites by Hendrix, Cream, The Yardbirds and Beatles – all the stuff we loved as kids. The icing on the cake is that the audience loved it, too.”
BALLET FOLKLORICO MEXICANO DE CARLOS MORENO
The Mission of the Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno (BFM) is to empower our Community and to educate the general public by providing a greater understanding and appreciation for Mexican culture and folklore through music, dance and traditional art forms.
Carlos Moreno Samaniego
Founder of the Ballet Folklorico Mexicano (BFM) in 1967 in the city of Livermore. Carlos learned about the theater arts at an early age. His father directed and performed a group in Nazas, Durango, Mexico, while his mother designed the costumes, sets, and props for their performances. His formal instruction began at the age of 11. After completing high school, Mr Moreno's artistic ambitions led him to study folkloric dance in Guadalajara and Ciudad Juarez. Still seeking the right environment, however, in which to express his dreams and talents, he emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1958. There he met his wife, Angelina Garcia, who later came the costume designer for the BFM. Carlos Sr.'s unrelenting passion for researching, teaching, and performing the traditional dances of Mexico have made him a recognized expert in the field. For this reason, he and the BFM have received numerous recognitions in both the United States and Mexico. Mr. Moreno has successfully directed the BFM and taken the company to professional status, performing in major venues, for professional sports events, popular TV shows, educational and cultural events throughout the United States, and internationally, to Mexico.
Carlos Garcia Moreno
Carlos launched his artistic and performing career at the age of three when he began studying the fundamentals of Mexican folk dance under the tutelage of his father. While a teenager, he received further training in Mexican folk dance, music, and costuming at the Academia de Danza Tizoc in Mexico city. From 1989 to 1992, Mr. Moreno was a corps dancer with he renown Ballet Folclórico de Mexico of Amalia Hernandez, with whom he toured North and Central America, Europe, and the Orient. He returned permanently to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1992 to devote himself to his first love - the Ballet Folklorico Mexicano (BFM). The company's primary choreographer since the late 1980's, Carlos keeps working full-time with the BFM on its artistic repertoire and on the training of its dancers. Additionally he teaches at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, as well as gives workshops to individuals, schools and dance groups. This choreographic genius, besides creating the BFM's repertoire, also collaborates with arts organizations in the community to deliver outreach programs to children in schools.