Vox Urbana is one of my favorite Tucson bands, but that's not the only reason I'm telling you to see their show tomorrow night, Friday, Nov. 14 at Tanline Printing Studios, 14 W. 35th St., 8 p.m., $5 cover. You should see this show for two reasons: because you understand the value of dancing your cumbia-loving ass off or if you don't know the value, this is the best way for you to learn. Go!
This cumbia group is part of ourTucson soundtrack and tomorrow night's show celebrates the release of their new record La Pitaya.
From the Vox folks:
Throughout the southwest and Mexico, Vox Urbana have “established a cult following thanks in large part to the group's highly entertaining shows, a bevy of skillful instrumentation and shake-your-hips rhythms." (Flagstaff Live!) Recently Vox Urbana has been garnering attention not just for their high-energy shows but also original songs whose lyrics tell stories of the political and personal realities of the borderlands they call home. Songs such as “La Piedra y La Bala,” which relates the recent tragedy of Jose Antonio Elena, a Mexican teenager shot dead through the US-Mexico border fence by Border Patrol agents. Or “Pepe Arpia,” a scathing and comic indictment of Maricopa County’s infamously racist and media-pandering Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. These new songs appear on La Pitaya, as well as other songs whose lyrics and rhythm find the middle ground between dance parties and grass roots political protest.
Brought together by Tucson’s diverse and bustling live music scene, Vox Urbana formed in 2010 and has undergone multiple instrumental and stylistic shifts, with several personnel changes resulting in the current six-man lineup that features a driving rhythm section, muscular horn arrangements, and harmonized group vocals. The band’s ability to write and play cumbia, salsa, funk, huapango, cha-cha, trova, and Latin soul are indicative of its member’s wide-ranging U.S. and Latin American musical backgrounds.
This year Vox Urbana was awarded grants from the Tucson Pima Arts Council and Puffin Foundation for its “Cumbia Corridos” project, which seeks to create storytelling songs inspired by interviews the band has conducted with Tucsonans whose voices may not always be heard in public discourse. The Cumbia Corridos project is set to debut in early 2015.
Enjoy this video from an equally loved Tucson creator, our friend Heather Gray:
Viva la cumbia