Las Cafeteras thrives in the style of Son Jarocho releasing a new album “It’s time” and well it is for this East Los Angeles band. Socially responsible and community oriented, music is top priority but that is not all Las Cafeteras wants to bring to their audience.
“Because Son Jarocho has such deep roots in social justice, it’s a slave music from Veracruz. It only is natural that you can communicate with people and this was a new tool for us to communicate what we felt our community deserved,” says Denise Carlos.
Having met due to activism, Las Cafeteras continues to put depth into their music, “Before being musicians we were activistas ,” says Hector Flores. What brought them together was the South Central Movement for the south central farm, a club, in 2005. “There was a lot of poetry and spoken word. Son Jarocho was part of that,” Hector Flores continues on about how the band got together and acquired their sound. Denise Carlos having been a florclorico dancer had been taught to dance with Son Jarocho music. José Cano came to be inspired during his time at the Getty Museum. “I don’t remember who was playing but Los Combolitas had a set and I remember watching them and I had never seen Son Jarocho being played. And, I was totally, totally blown away,” says José Cano about his introduction to Son Jarocho. “The first time I saw it was with a group of people called Son del Centro,” says Hector Flores, “I had gone out there for an event and they played there and that was the first time I had seen Son Jarocho being played.” Learning at a community center called Eastside Cafe under the guidance of a friend named Angela. Las Cafeteras members contribute much to the group. Each member contributes at least 3 different things to the band. Whether it be instruments, singing, or dancing they all are multi-talented. Each member holds personal goals as well as their dedication to the band which have lead them to personal satisfaction in their lives.
Annette Torres plays marimbol, which is a percussion instrument, and dances zapateado mainly, Daniel French plays jarana segunda, a guitar-like instrument, and sings, David Flores mainly plays requinto jarocho, another guitar-like instrument, amongst other instruments, Denise Carlos singer, jarana primera dancer, and zapateado dancer, Hector Flores plays jarana tercera, a small guitar-like instrument, sings, and zapateado dancer, José Cano plays cajón, a box-shaped percussion instrument, and flauta nativa americana, a Native American style flute, and Leah Gallegos singer, plays quijada de burro, jawbone of a donkey used as a percussion instrument, tambor Azteca, an Aztec drum, and zapateado dancer. The three that I had a chance to sit down and talk to each obtained a degree, Denise Carlos as a social Worker, José Cano as a mechanical engineer, and Hector Flores in Ethnic Studies. Steering away from mainstream American instruments to create a fantastic, rhythmic, and beautiful sound to their music with a positive message.
“We all want the same thing. We all want to live in peace. We all want to have healthy lives, and we all want to be good to each other. So, it’s not always what we see in the world. So lets create music of what we want to see,” says Hector Flores.
The three members ended the interview by playing a live song for the office.
Album “It’s Time” by Las Cafeteras review coming soon.