One of our featured artists for July is La Santa Cecilia!
Grammy Award winning La Santa Cecilia exemplifies the modern-day creative hybrid of Latin culture, rock and world music. This six-member group draws inspiration from all over the world, utilizing Pan-American rhythms like cumbia, bossa nova, rumba, bolero, tango, jazz, rock and klezmer music .Their unique sound and the experience of their colorful, passionate performance leaves fans and new listeners mesmerized. They are proud to be from the City of Angels.
Named after the patron saint of music, La Santa Cecilia is composed of accordionist and requinto player Jose ‘Pepe’ Carlos, bassist Alex Bendaña, percussionist Miguel ‘Oso’ Ramirez, and vocalist ‘La Marisoul’. With captivating songs about love, loss, and disappointment, the band has become the voice of a new bicultural generation in the United States, fully immersed in modern music, but still close to their Latin American influences and Mexican heritage.
La Santa Cecilia was thrown onto the map in 2011 with the release of their debut album “Noches y Citas”. This album gave them their first nomination at the Latin Grammy Awards for the single “La Negra”. It was also with this release that they first voiced their sympathy and support for various human rights movements, and have since used their music to openly support these causes. They followed that album with ‘El Valor’ in 2012, which was named one of the best albums of the year by NPR’s Alt Latino.
And then came the big one—‘Treinta Días’. The album was recorded in 2013 and showed the band moving in a more sophisticated direction, while holding true to themselves. They combined cumbia, reggae, soul, tango, and their L.A. spice to create an album that went on to win the Grammy for ‘Best Latin Rock Album, Alternative or Urban’ in 2014.
The album featured a song called ‘ ICE (El Hielo)’, which was a militant anthem on humanizing the immigration tactics in the U.S.A. The song was controversial, and its accompanying video rang true to many who saw it. The song received accolades from major media outlets around the country, while the video was nominated for ‘Video Of The Year’ at Premios Lo Nuestro. In 2014, La Santa Cecilia made their major label debut with ‘Someday New’, released on Universal. The first single, ‘La Cumbia Morada,’ combined infectious pop melodies with touches of cumbia. On March 27th of that same year, the band did something they never imagined— they performed at the legendary Vive Latino in front of thousands of screaming fans. Summer 2014 was a busy season for the band. They presented their politically-infused video for ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ at the LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) luncheon in New York, accompanied by none other than First Lady Michelle Obama. La Marisoul had the honor of singing the national anthem to the over 1,500 Latino leaders in attendance.
Watch their music video to “Calaverita” below and follow them on socials: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Click “View Profile” to see their WorldArts profile with new video content shot on the WorldArts Stage!