Join us for the first ever Texas Chicha Summit featuring Chicha music from all over the country.
FIRST NORTH AMERICAN CHICHA SUMMIT.
CHICHA LIBRE, MONEY CHICHA AND CHICHA DUST
Houston, The Continental, Sept 13th
Austin, The Flamingo, Sept 14th
In Peru, in the late 60’s and 1970’s, from the slums of Lima to the
jungle towns of the Amazon, a new sound emerged which would come to be
known as Chicha.
Influenced by Colombian Cumbia, this new tropical sound used a classic
Afro-Caribbean rhythm section of bass, bells, bongos, congas and
timbales along with modern electric instruments – electric guitars,
Farfisas and an occasional Moog synth.
Peruvian musicians were voraciously curious and took their cues from
pretty much anything they heard: Andean music, psychedelic rock,
Beethoven, Brazilian Carimbó, Venezuelan harp music, Surf music,
Amazonian Pandilla – you name it… The result, not unlike Brazilian
Tropicalia, was a post-modern explosion of sounds that seems even more
relevant today than it was then. Unlike Tropicalia though, the music
was scorned by mainstream Peruvian institutions and their media and
never had the impact it deserved.
Fast-forward some forty years, and here comes the first Chicha Summit.
Three North-American bands that have embraced a sound long-forgotten
will play their own take on Chicha: Money Chicha, from Austin, Chicha
Dust from Tucson and Chicha Libre, from Brooklyn.
Upon first hearing Chicha, most of these musicians experienced the
kind of epiphany we wish happened more often. For people used to
playing both rock and tropical forms of Latin music, there seemed to
be few historical models out there – and chicha appeared to be the
exciting missing link between Latin music and Rock. Chicha knew no
limitations of styles, and happily integrated all sides of the radio
As members of Austin’s legendary Grupo Fantasma and Brownout, the
musicians in Money Chicha are already used to playing musical
hopscotch. Chicha was a natural step and Money Chicha is at home with
both deep cumbia grooves and psychedelic pyrotechnics.
Gabriel Sullivan and Brian Lopez are mainstay of the rich Tucson scene
and its mix of Mexican and American influences. They have travelled
the world as part of Howe Gelb’s Giant Sand as well as their own
individual projects. When then first heard Chicha, they immediately
recognized elements that were close to home and started Chicha Dust.
Before starting Chicha Libre, French-born Olivier Conan had gone to
Peru, fallen in love the music and released two compilations that
proved highly influential in making Chicha known around the world –
The Roots of Chicha. Chicha Libre started soon after as a vehicle to
make the music better known but quickly evolved into an original group
with two albums (on Crammed Disc/Barbès), an original repertoire in
Spanish, French and English and a large following in South America.
All three bands will pay tribute to Peruvian chicha, with covers of
classic 70’s tunes but will also delve into their own original
repertoire, highlighting the way an older, foreign musical form can be
a powerful springboard for creating new strains of music.
What the blues was for a generation of a British musicians, Chicha
could very well be for a generation of cosmopolitan American
musicians. At the very least, it should be welcome as a fresh and
rejuvenating sound that can be added to pretty much any mix.
Come check it out in Houston, at the Continental Club, Friday
September 13th and in Austin, Saturday September 14th at the Flamingo.
For more info check out the events on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/590447097672536/