I first came across Jarabe de Palo a few years back when I was living in Peru. My friend Miguel introduced me to their music and that of Ketama. Songs like La Flaca and De Vuelta y Vuelta became, and stayed, favourites of mine. Not only as top players in the Spanish rock genre, but as good, well-made songs. From wherever. My interest continued with an appreciation that spread from Mana up in Mexico down to Los Fabulosos Cadillacs in Argentina.
So, when we heard the band from Barcelona was playing in Calgary, we just had to go and see. Better still, our friends from Spain, Miguel and Mar had, by quite remarkable coincidence, come to live in Calgary. So we got it together and hung out for the evening at The Marquee Beer Market & Stage , alongside hundreds of appreciative Latino music fans.
Support act The Tekila Band got things going in short order, followed by Uno Band playing some great up tempo Latin Ska. It gave me great joy to see their trumpeter sound checking on stage by playing along to Los Fabulosos Cadillacs Mal Bicho . This, and some other fine grooves came from the DJ deck of Mauricio Uribe, otherwise known as Chico and MC at El fabuloso Calgary Expo Latino.
JarabeDePalo (due to some contractual issues they had to change things up to this more contemporary social media-type name when they changed record labels) took to the stage wearing what can best be described as competitive T-shirts. Key board player, Jaime Burgos and singer Pau Donés had Tour Americano 2015 T-shirts, the former blue and the latter, yellow; guitarist, David Muñez was attired in a red Che Guevara number; and sax player Jimmy Jenks Jimenez was, well promoting the Rolling Stones via their Big Tongue motif. The drummer at the back, Alex Tenas was out of sartorial contention this evening but he did provide a rock steady beat throughout. Great music followed cool fashion.
A couple of songs or so were played from JarabeDePalo’s most recent CD, Somos, including Hoy No Soy Yo. Somos, an up-tempo latin rap number, featured at the very end in response to mad cries of Otra, otra, the Spanish version of encore, together with a cruising cover of Cecilia Cruz’s Carnaval. Earlier in the set, a good many of their Grandes Exitos were featured such as Depende, Grita, Complete Incompleto, Dos Dias en la Vida. And of course, the aforementioned La Flaca and De Vuelta y Vuelta.
Please come back again to Calgary soon, Jarabe de Palo.
A la gente le encantó (the crowd loved it).
For more photos from the gig, please see J. Ashley Nixon Photography