SXSW’s annual must-see selection of Latin American, Spanish, and U.S. Latino artists seems especially spectacular this year. Here are 10 you shouldn’t miss.
1. Daymé Arocena
Daymé Arocena brings the great tradition of Afro-Cuban jazz vocals to the present with deep and smoky vocals that can flow seamlessly over ritual percussion, R&B melodies, and electronic beats. Catch this commanding 24-year-old at SXSW’s first Sounds of Cuba showcase, Friday, March 18 at Speakeasy.
2. Pedrina y Rio
Colombia has been making a strong showing at SX for years: Who could forget Bomba Estereo’s sweaty glory at Fader Fort in 2010? Bogotá electro-pop-folk duo Pedrina y Rio promises a good time this year. They’ll be at the Radio Day stage on Wednesday, the 16th, followed by night-time appearances at Speakeasy and Departure lounge.
3. The Chamanas
Mexican border band to watch The Chamanas make a repeat appearance at SX, bringing their dreamy indie rock to Anton’s on March 18.
4. Molina y Los Cósmicos
Like others before him (Jorge Drexler, No Te Va Gustar) Nicolas Molina’s laid back band Molina y los Cósmicos is a reminder that we should all be listening to music from Uruguay. Catch them at Sledgehammer on March 16.
Medellín rapper Kiño has dual audiences in the hip-hop world and among followers of 2015’s popular telenovela Lady La Vendedora de Rosas. Kiño played a character named Kaiser in the series, as well as performing on the soundtrack. Kiño will represent Colombia’s thriving urban music scene at Speakeasy (March 17) and Swan Dive (March 18).
6. Gina Chavez
Gina Chavez is the 2015 Austin Music Awards Musician of the Year. Enough said. If you get to SX early, you can see her at The Sidewinder Outside on Tuesday, March 15.
This bad ass all-women Spanish retro garage rock band plays Spain’s paella party and Karma Lounge on March 16, and at Lucille on March 18.
A seven-member group from Santiago, Chile Boraj brings a conscious South American folk sound that’s at once indie and ritualistic to Austin. See them on March 15 at Friends and at the International Day stage on March 18.
9. Juan Zelada
Prepare to be seduced by this earthy pop singer-songwriter while you’re scarfing down paella at the Sounds of Spain party on Wed. March 16. Zelada also plays Lucille on March 18.
10. El B
Cuban rapper El B gained international fame as a member of the Havana duo Los Aldeanos, who were embroiled in a U.S. government campaign to infiltrate the island’s hip-hop movement in the name of democracy. But really, El B is worthy of a much better rep than that. Feel the power at Sledge on March 16 and Speakeasy on March 17.