Arts, Culture & Media

Los Angeles band La Santa Cecilia

By Betto Arcos The group La Santa Cecilia its name from Mexico's patron saint of musicians, but they're not really a Mexican band. La Santa Cecilia's sound is a hybrid mix of music reflecting the city where they live and play – Los Angeles. Their Latin-flavored songs can combine a funky ska beat with a gypsy flavored guitar riff. Guitarist Gloria Estrada said when the band started playing four years ago, she noticed their music brought together their diverse backgrounds. "I think all six members have such different influences and we're all I think really open to everything, so I think it was a nice blend," Estrada said. The musicians that make up La Santa Cecilia are children of immigrants; three were born in Los Angeles, two in Mexico and one in Venezuela. La Marisoul, the lead singer and the band's main songwriter, grew up singing boleros and Mexican rancheras with musicians who play on LA's historic Olvera Street. "What I know of music is from there, from what I learned with the musicians there," La Marisoul said. La Santa Cecilia began at a drunken party, as a fun experiment. Today, they're one of LA's most successful Latin bands, and they're redefining the hip, Latin sound of Los Angeles. For the past year, they've been on a non-stop tour, playing gigs up and down California and recently in Texas, where they showcased at Austin's South by Southwest. They've put out two EPs and a few months ago, they were signed to a label founded by a multiple Grammy award-winner producer. La Marisoul said they're working on a single due out in April. "I'm really excited because we're really working on the artwork and the concept of how we're gonna release this." She added that they've been keeping this secret from their fans. It's a new version of one of their most popular songs – "Chicle" or "Gum." Their plan is to release it as a single, in a specially designed little package that will include a code to download it, and a treat to chew on.