Rodrigo y Gabriela, known for their dueling acoustic guitar instrumentals blending heavy-metal riffs with Latin rhythms, have canceled several U.S. appearances because of a problem with a work visa.
The duo of Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero formed in Mexico City but moved to Dublin, Ireland, after growing frustrated with the late ’90s Mexican music scene. They busked in the streets of Dublin before breaking into the local club scene and building a following in Europe.
They are waiting for renewal of Sanchez’s work visa, which has been put on hold because he has a name similar to a wanted criminal, the group’s management said.
“Rodrigo had nothing on his file,” said Chris Tetzeli, a Charlottesville, Va.-based partner at ATO Records, the duo’s music label. “He’s absolutely clean. It’s just this name confusion.”
The duo canceled shows at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, and a festival in Florida, Tetzeli said. Their Web site said they have postponed upcoming shows in Atlanta, Nashville and Washington, D.C. “There was a lot of anticipation going into these dates,” Tetzeli said. “The timing is pretty rough.”
Sanchez, who applied at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to renew his papers, was told the request was on hold because officials had to verify that he wasn’t the person with a similar name who is on a wanted list. Details on the identity of the wanted man weren’t available.
A U.S. Embassy spokesperson said that as a policy, the embassy doesn’t comment on individual visa applications. The duo’s Web site said Sanchez’s visa renewal was delayed due to new U.S. immigration policies and procedures.
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