La Misa Negra is an 8-piece band from Oakland, CA that plays cumbia and high-energy, Afro-Colombian dance music. Founded in late 2011 by Marco Polo Santiago, the band consists of native Colombianas, Diana Trujillo and Saday Cordoba, saxophone and clarinet duo, Justin Chin and Charles Granich, and the rhythm section of Shaun Wargowsky, Aaron Kierbel and Craig Miller. With musical influences as diverse as their backgrounds, the unlikely band of cumbiamberos is joined together by their mutual love for cumbia and their desire to bring back the classic Colombian sound of the 1950’s and 60’s.
Since their live debut a year and a half ago, La Misa Negra has toured extensively throughout California, making people move show after show and proving, in dance and sweat, that La Misa Negra is not just a band, but a party. They have quickly gained a reputation as one of the Bay Area’s most exciting live bands, on the strength of their unique sound and wild shows, and is well on their way to building a diverse fan base that transcends musical, cultural and generational divides. Having already played shows and festivals with the likes of Celso Piña, Nortec Collective, La Santa Cecilia, Chico Trujillo, Sergent Garcia, La Sonora Dinamita, Breakestra, Very Be Careful, B-Side Players, Jarabe de Palo, Souls of Mischief, Los Texmaniacs, and many others, La Misa Negra is now ready to release their debut album, Misa de Medianoche.
Consisting of ten tracks, Misa de Medianoche is a journey across various styles of cumbia, ranging from rootsy, accordion-laced grooves to smooth, horn-driven porro and up-tempo, punk-induced gaita. By effectively capturing the raw energy of their live shows and the vintage sound they have become known for, Misa de Medianoche serves as the perfect introduction for anyone who has yet to experience La Misa Negra. Self-produced and resourcefully recorded, the album now faces its final hurdle of getting professionally mixed and mastered. With your help, La Misa Negra hopes to raise the money needed to finish Misa de Medianoche and press the album on CD.
We thought it might be cool to share a few demos from the album and allow everyone to preview these songs, in their rough and raw stage, before they get mixed. We picked three songs to share and we'll be posting them here, along with some brief notes about each song.
La Cumbia Cura - We played the VivaFest! festival in San Jose last year and an older lady in a wheelchair came up to us after the show and told us that she hadn't stood up in a very long time but that she loved the band so much, she couldn't help but get up and dance! She had never heard of us or seen us play before, but she was very grateful for the music and for helping her forget about her ailments, even if it was for just a moment. Usually, we go on stage, play some songs, people dance, jump around and have a good time, and it's mission accomplished for us. But this woman reminded me of how truly powerful music can be and how it may even have the power to heal. Of course it's not going to cure your arthritis or fix a broken hip, but it can touch your soul and your heart. At the very least, it makes your day better. The woman in the wheelchair inspired me so much, that I instantly came up with the name for this song. I didn't get her name, but I wrote this song for her.
Misa de Medianoche - I wrote this song, inspired by the fast and crazy gaitas that some of the old Colombian orchestras used to play. Gaita is a cousin of cumbia and, in its faster form, is one of the styles that has come to define La Misa Negra's sound. This song is our own take on this particular style and it's a monster! Whether it's us playing it on stage or the kids dancing to it on the dance floor, this is one serious workout for all parties involved. Watch out for the solos, as Charles and Justin bring the pain like Carlito Brigante, with a clarinet and saxophone showdown that might propel the more limber ones among you into a full-blown Lindy Hop. I might be overhyping it, but if you're not reaching for a towel and a Gatorade by the time this song is over, then you've probably passed out on the dance floor and the paramedics are on their way.
Por la Bahia - This past Saturday, Charles officially turned in his credentials as a bachelor and joined Shaun and I in the ranks of happily married, cumbia-playing men. To mark this momentous occasion, I present to you, Por la Bahia, a smooth, sexy ode to love and cumbia in the Bay. Since we started dating, my wife has been waiting for me to write her a love song and, while I'm still unclear as to whether this meets the minimal requirements to constitute her love song, it is, at a minimum, a first step towards fulfilling my husbandly, cumbia duties. The hypnotic, tenor sax licks and Diana's sultry voice over a slow, accordion-driven groove make this the perfect song for a romantic, rumba-rendezvous beneath the stars. As Charles and his new bride prepare to embark on their honeymoon, my wife and I, who happen to be celebrating our own wedding anniversary this week, wish the newlyweds a wonderful trip and a fantastic life together. #oaklandisforlovers
La Misa Negra
Diana Trujillo Vocals & Guacharaca
Saday Cordoba Vocals & Guacharaca
Justin Chin Tenor Sax
Charles Granich Clarinet & Tenor Sax
Shaun Wargowsky Upright Bass
Aaron Kierbel Drums
Craig Miller Drums & Percussion
Risks and challenges
There are no challenges that will keep us from completing our project. Since the album is already recorded, as long as we meet our funding goal, Misa de Medianoche will be released this summer! Should our campaign be so successful that we exceed our goal, we will put those additional funds towards promoting the release of the album and embarking on our first tour outside of California.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)