'Cancun': 20 years of Calle Sur
The Latin band from Iowa updates their repertoire with an album to celebrate 20 years together.
The opening track of Cancún over a downpour kicks off the album like a tropical weekend rain that invites you to gather yourself and spend time with the family.
A silversmith's blend of Latin rhythms like cumbia with jazz arrangements make for a delicate album of enveloping melodies, lots of percussion and warm vocals.
You have to understand the impact of this band in Iowa and the affection that the Latin identity has received to see the dialogue of return that Cancún represents. The way in which Latin music has gradually been invited into the mainstream was for the members a cause for great celebration, as was celebrating more than twenty years of career.
For the recording of the album they invited four jazz pianists to add their personal touches that make the album so original: Bob Washut, Steve Shanley, Yazmin Bowers and Gianny Laredo.
"I want to keep growing as an artist until I can't do it anymore. For me, growing means not only improving my musical skills, but more importantly, connecting my craft to a multifaceted set of people, purposes and other art forms," shared Karin Stein, a member along with Edgar East in Calle Sur.
"The last 20 years have been some of the most adventurous I can remember. Calle Sur traveled and performed in a wide variety of venues and locations. Sometimes we played for a few people, other times for a few thousand. Wherever we went, we made music, we made friends and we made a difference," Edgar also added.
That's why their album celebration aspires to become a real party on May 23, 2 p.m. Central Time, that can also be followed on Zoom and Facebook Live.
Eighty miles separated Edgar and Karin in their respective confinements during the pandemic. In spite of them, nothing stopped them neither in their artistic practice nor in their desire to celebrate such an important anniversary, making up for the impossibility of rehearsing together as best they could.
However, this is not the first time they have faced difficulties. The band itself is already a questioning of the usual labels of Latin music (she of Colombian descent, he of Panamanian descent, both emigrants to the United States) so it is not the first time they got creative to overcome technical difficulties.
In fact, the album is a celebration of all the difficulties they managed to overcome between Venezuelan quitiplás, Andean zampoñas, Colombian gaitas and some cuatro.