They describe their sound as a “guisado”, or stew, blending a wide range of influences into a savory bilingual mix. The young members of La Santa Cecelia perform an eclectic combination of original material, traditional songs and covers sung in Spanish and English – music meant to get listeners both dancing and thinking at the same time. Their sound embraces a modern sensibility while also evoking the old. Named for the patron saint of music and founded at the end of 2007, core members of the group were raised in downtown L.A.’s Olvera Street district, fully bilingual and bicultural. They cite a dizzying array of music influences: Nirvana, Santana, Rush, punk rock and reggae and, on the classic Latin side, Ramón Ayala, Trio Los Panchos, Los Alegres de Terán, cumbia and boleros.
The New York Times reports, “I didn’t get [their sound] initially,” confessed Sebastián Krys, the band’s Argentine-born producer…” “Coming from the industry, my first reaction was: ‘This is great, but how do we make it fit?’ It took me a while to stop thinking, ‘What part of the record store would I put this into?’ Luckily for us, there are no record stores.”
La Santa Cecilia started out busking on Olvera Street, immigrant and working-class Latino kids singing Latin standards for the tourists. Then, fronted by the group’s lead singer, Marisol Hernández, known as La Marisoul — who cites the Mexican actress turned singer Lucha Villa, the Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa and Janis Joplin as influences — they began recording and touring. And when they took to the stage at the Staples Centre in 2014 to receive the Grammy for Best Latin Rock or Alternative recording, they’d travelled a lot further than a couple miles. On stage, they dedicated their award to “the more than 11 million undocumented people that live and work really hard in this country, and that still need to lead a more dignified life.”
Come listen to La Santa Cecilia. There’s more to their story and something special here you’re gonna like a lot – original, eclectic, interesting music that touches your heart, your soul, and engages your mind.