Banda Pequeños Musical
It's rare for a band entering the Billboard charts for the first time to pack 50,000 people into a Mexico City parking lot for a concert. But then again, Banda Pequeños Musical is hardly new to tIt's rare for a band entering the Billboard charts for the first time to pack 50,000 people into a Mexico City parking lot for a concert. But then again, Banda Pequeños Musical is hardly new to the scene: the group's live album, "La Producción Maestra 2006," is its fifteenth release.
The band, formed in Guadalajara in 1990, practice the tecnobanda style of music: traditional horns combined with modern bass, electric guitar and piano. What's sustained the group for so long is the philosophy embodied in its "pequeños" name, says bandleader Rogelio Garcia.
"When you're little, you're full of innocence," says Garcia. "There's no hate. Your soul is clean. At the end of the day, no matter what age you are, in a piece of your heart, you always keep that little one. And you don't know when he or she will come out."
That youthful energy was on display during the May 2006 taping of "La Producción Maestra," which features the 13-member group's best-known songs. The concert, which started at midnight and ended at dawn, opened with acrobats and clowns on stilts. The band members kicked up their legs and danced through up-tempo numbers in matching jackets embroidered with the band's smiley face logo. They took only two short breaks.
Regional Mexican albums are chock full of covers and standards, but Garcia has pride in the the fact that 80 percent of the group's songs are written by its members. Such originality hasn't gone unnoticed in Mexico, where several of its albums have gone gold -- logging sales over 100,000 copies. The group recorded a version of the track "Arrasando" with pop star Thalía in 2000, the same year it cut its first live album at dances in Guadalajara, Aguascalientes and León.
"La Producción Maestra 2006" debuted at No. 10 on the Regional Mexican and No. 26 on the Top Latin Albums chart, with 2,000 copies sold in the United States since its Oct. 31 release, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
Banda Pequeños Musical was on independent labels throughout most of existence, until it signed with Fonovisa last year. Garcia credits the major label for earning the band more sales and exposure; the band plans to tour the U.S. next year.
"We're at that point finally, and we're very happy," says Garcia.