Chicago, .- The Chicago Dos Santos quintet, which fuses its socio-political activism with jazz, R & B, soul, Mexican traditional music, punk, salsa and electronic sounds, recorded its most recent work, “Logos”, with a “curtain” background “very unique: from Hurricane Maria to the violent protests in Virginia.
Formed in 2013, the band has always been inspired by the diversity and the resilient spirit of ‘the City of Winds’. “Chicago is a tough city, both in its artistic form and in its socio-political activism, something that inspires us and gives us fuel to go out not only as a band, but also as cultural ambassadors and
music of the city, “says Jaime Garza, bassist of the quintet.
“We believe that all social movements have been supported by music,” he said.
The formation, which in addition to “Logos” (2018) has a couple of albums, “Dos Santos” (2015) and “Fonografic” (2016), is integrated by Alex Chavez (vocalist, guitar and keyboards), Nathan Karagianis ( vocalist and guitar), Daniel Villarreal-Carrillo (drums), Peter “Maestro” Vale (congas, bongos, percussion) and Jaime Garza on the electric bass.
The roots of Dos Santos come from various countries: Mexico, Greece, Panama, and Puerto Rico.
“We believe that our roots, individually, are much bigger than us, we feed on the artists and the music that was made before: the rumba, the huapango, the salsa, the son, the guaguancó, but with a clear vision of move forward with these genres, “explains Garza.
“Our style is not as influenced by the fusion of genres as by the attitude and the resistance of the people, as well as by the music of Chicago,” the bassist reels.
In his opinion, “forming a band has to do with chemistry, with a common vision among a group of artists.”
All the members of the band have experience, as well as artistic, in education issues and in support of causes of social justice.
Chavez, for example, is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Note Dame and author of an award-winning book on the huapango arribeño, “Sounds of Crossing: Music, Migration and the Aural Poetics of Huapango Arribeño”, published in 2017 by the University Duke, from North Carolina.
“Individually we are always teaching or participating in panels about our role as artists and community organizers,” says Garza.
“Logos”, his most recent album with the international Anthem label, boasts a mix of house music, blues, punk latinx, salsa and has received good reviews from various internet media.
“Recording ‘Logos’ was a unique experience,” recalls Garza.
“At the bottom of the recording session were the violent protests in Charlottesville (Virginia, where in August 2017 there were three dead and 20 injured after a march of white supremacists), a category 5 hurricane in Puerto Rico (Maria), a new presidency of the United States and its racist rhetoric “, breaks down the group’s bass player.
“The only thing we could do was create art, music, which would be a testimony of the here and now, trying to heal the things that were happening around us,” he says.
This month, Dos Santos escapes the cold of Chicago to participate in the music festival South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin (Texas). In that state they will also collaborate with Beto Martínez, the guitarist of the group Fantasma, Money Chicha and Brownout, in a concert in the city of Buda.
Dos Santos likes to collaborate with other equally eclectic artists such as Olmeca, the hip hop activist and vocalist “underground” from Los Angeles.
They also frequently perform with their record label colleagues, composers Ben LaMar Gay and Nick Mazzarella, among others.
“International Anthem is very progressive and has a good ear …”, said Garza.
The band is planning a tour of Mexico this year and at the same time looking for opportunities to play in other South American countries.
An album after “Logos” is in process. It will be an EP (the initials call an intermediate between album and single) of four or five songs “intimate and dark”.
“We’re not doing something new, we’re taking old musical concepts and traditions and using them to create an honest version of ourselves,” Garza confesses.
“We are very aware of the new musical trends, but we try to make a timeless, raw and intimate music, everything becomes a perfect circle,” he added. (EFEUSA)