Singer and guitarist Luz Elena Mendoza is reviving Y La Bamba with an evolved lineup. “I wanted to spend time alone and get perspective,” she says of the 2.5-year hiatus. “I grew up in that band. That was me entering this world being super innocent, but now I have greater self-awareness as a Mexican-American female. I will continue to share my heart and path with everyone.” The Portland-based group — which has toured with Neko Case and The Lumineers — will continue to blend her Latin heritage with elements of American folk and rock, but its latest incarnation will reflect Luz’s cathartic exploration of identity. “Now the band is a celebration of family and community. Not just the music community, but everyone.”
Ojos Del Sol
Through music, I have found a home for all the prayers that I have gathered in my life. I meet myself in song by the karmic knowledge of my bloodline. I have been learning the responsibility of my voice and the role we all play in creating change. Music is the universal language of the inner, deeper parts of one's spirit, body and mind, no matter who you are and where you come from. For my fourth Y La Bamba LP, I want to offer my visual art and the intention behind my work. My vision is to release my music and display my art as a cohesive, connected piece, along with the lyrical content that brings them together
My name is Luz Elena Mendoza and I am here to bring you my vision: I call this project Ojos Del Sol, Eyes of the Sun.
This is my goal.
As I continue to write and record I will be making a piece of visual art for every song that I write, as my mirror, and my teacher. This will be the visual representation of my music. I’ve already started the creative process and began recording in March of 2015.
I want to ask for your support so I may create, invite others to create with me, and have the funds to pay all of my collaborators. With otherworldly inspiration, we gather to create Ojos Del Sol for you, our families, friends and community. This is our offering of communion and fellowship.
I have the pleasure of recording here in Portland, Oregon. I have also been collaborating with my friend and amazing composer, Richie Greene, who has written music for the Oregon Ballet Theatre as well as worked with artists and songwriters such as Nick Jaina, Stelth Ulvang, and The von Trapps. He has put together the La Vida Ensemble, a group of classical brass and wind musicians, and friends here in Portland. I have also gathered a group beautiful talented women to be The Maria Maria Choir. They sing to my compositions and are also amazing local musicians here in this city.
Why I am including visual art.
I started to carve out stencils almost 4 years ago on tour. I would reflect on everything and witness so many shapes––like the rhythm in life. I have always expressed myself in many mediums, through song and history. Designs of balance and imperfections: I identify them as my mandalas, stories, songs melodies, children and god. Inspired by people, love, and hardship.
My expression is my extension to another world. I hope to share these creations through the medium of booklets, and framed original art. I’ve teamed up with Lucas Schwarts, an amazing artist in Oakland, California. We’ve been working together to reproduce my stencil art through wood engraving and laser cutting.
Through the Ojos Del Sol art project, I want to create a foundation to manifest my dream and replenish all of the hard work that my family, friends and community of artists put in to reveal our dreams to the world, and to express why it is important for us to inspire one another by creating a change in the world.
Let’s share this experience together. Together, we all dance to the spirit of this music.
Y LA BAMBA OJOS DEL SOL BUDGET.
- Recording: $3,000
- Mixing: $2,000
- Studio musicians: $2,000
- Richie Greene, arranger: $700
- Art layouts: $600
- Tour musicians: $3,500
- Art lyrics books: $1,000
- T-shirts and other merchandise: $2,500
- Art studio rental: $2,700
- Kickstarter fees: $2,000
— Budget total: $20,000
Y La Bamba will play an intimate comeback show on the rooftop of Portland's Revolution Hall on August 28th. Check to see if "Rooftop" or "Rooftop+" Kickstarter packages are still available, or you can buy tickets directly from the venue here.
Risks and challenges
I am an artist that perceives through creating. This is a huge leap for me to put myself out there with this project. I have launched a Kickstarter project in the past — it was successfully funded and executed. I am grateful for all of you that believe in me and through that we believe in each other. Its hard to ask for money, I ask for your support and prayers to help manifest my vision.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)