Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-05-22
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



MUSIC Band Las Cafeterias breaks down barriers
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Chicano band Las Cafeteras mixes styles, from spoken word to Mexican folk music, creating something fresh and unique.

After meeting at a coffee shop as students, the group came up with their name from an organization where they took classes. In addition, to honor women they changed their name to the feminine version of the word.

Their music covers a wide range of topics from civil rights to immigration reform. The band sat down to discuss hot topics before a recent concert in Chicago.

Windy City Times: Nice to meet the entire band from East LA.

Hector Flores: Thank you. Cutest band from East LA.

Denise Carlos: You be the judge!

WCT: Denise, you have the dress with the loteria playing cards on it I saw online?

DC: My mom made it. Do you want one?

WCT: I'm not really the skirt-wearing gay man.

DC: Things could change. You might want to have a Marilyn Monroe moment in the wind!

WCT: Where does your fashion sense come from?

DC: I like a lot of colors and different styles. My mom has been sewing stuff for me since she was a baby. She has been sewing since she was 12 years old. I like showcasing her talent and her art. When I was growing up she worked at a sweat shop near our home. She worked for big corporations. I think it is important to show your culture and your pride in what you wear.

WCT: I heard you worked at a LGBT center.

DC: Yes. I ran the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center at Cal State LA for a few years. We do a lot of programming. I was a clinical social worker so I did a lot with mental health.

The LGBT world is constantly changing with labels, identities and expressions, so it is a good place where people can celebrate who they are but understand the differences in life.

A lot of times we talk about LGBT concerns through tragedies but I think it is important to talk about it in a more empowering and celebratory way.

WCT: Your band has talked about it in the music with lyrics about gay marriage.

HF: Big time. The song "Señor Presidente", which is an old school, Afro-Mexican song, we remixed it and rewrote our own lyrics. In every show we do we perform the song "Señor Presidente" and we ask the audience what they would do if they were president. It is amazing the responses we get from across the country. There are also points where we get to say what we would do.

At the time when queer marriage was not passed in the United States we would say things like "I'm in love with my boyfriend and we want to get married." When this was not allowed we wanted to put the idea out there in a fun way. At the end of the day it is about relationships and love.

We would talk about quality education and universal healthcare, all the things we should have. We wanted to try for liberation and now that we have that we can start moving forward.

WCT: You have toured in the past with performers I have spoken to about politics, such as Lila Downs and Ozomatli. Was politics in your music something you set out to do and how did you meet in the beginning?

DC: It was really an organic process. We know each other through activist oriented work, community organizing, and going to school together. It is important for us to be storytellers of our communities and our families. We don't necessarily say we are going to write a political song, we just write about what we are living and what we want.

We met organically and talk about the world we want to see. We put that in our music. It is something that is universal. Everywhere we go there is a community that wants to have a conversation.

WCT: Where did your version of the classic "La Bamba" come from?

Daniel French: Well, that is a famous song from Ritchie Valens but a rock and roll version from back in the '50s. It is actually a Black-Mexican song that comes from the Gulf Coast of Mexico, the state of Vera Cruz. Ritchie Valens was playing a rock song off of a traditional song. We heard the old school version. We were learning traditional music at a community center called the Eastside Cafe. There are hundreds of old verses of the song. Son Jarocho music is what we were learning and it is all about improv. It is like hip hop. We might be playing then decide to make fun of someone's shoes or tell someone in the audience we like them. It is all metaphors and telling stories.

We were in LA playing music from the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Most of us at that point had not even been to that area of Mexico. We have since gone there and learned from music from those folks. Back then we wanted to tell our stories through that song. We had to allow ourselves to be ourselves while tapping into traditional music.

The song "La Bamba Rebelde" was used in a telenovela on Telemundo called Baja el Mismo Cielo. It is about an undocumented man. In one of our choruses in our version we state "I don't believe in borders so I am going to cross." I think that speaks to the bigger picture of Las Cafeteras. We are not into building walls that separate borders or communities, whether is LGBTQ, Black, Brown, Asian or native. We are trying to say we have a lot in common as humans. We share a lot. If people can let go of some of those labels they will be surprised in how we all relate at a heart level. From there let's just dance and be human for awhile!

Once we are all human we can finally listen and build that musical bridge together.

WCT: Your parents must be so proud of their kids holding onto cultural traditions.

Jose Cano: Well, I majored in engineering so to give up an engineering job to play music made them a little scared. I don't know if proud is the right word! [laughs] In terms of where we have come now they are proud.

HF: Let's just say if we weren't on a telenovela they wouldn't be that proud!

WCT: What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Leah Gallegos: We are releasing our second album in the fall. It is a lot of fun. A good mix with a lot of originals and we will be straying away from the traditional music that our last album had. We will continue touring until then.

Check out this colorful band's website at .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Matt Bomer, Megan Rapinoe, Tom Ford, MTV Awards, EBTG 2019-05-22 - Out actor Matt Bomer stars in the movie Papi Chulo, out June 7, a press release noted. The plot focuses on a newly ...

Gay News

WORLD Lyra McKee, controversial billboard, George Clooney, Chilean school 2019-05-22 - The detective leading the investigation into the murder of LGBT journalist Lyra McKee in Londonderry has called on the gunman to hand himself ...

Gay News

Sheila E., Jake Shears, Steve Grand part of Market Days 2019-05-22 - CHICAGO—The Northalsted Business Alliance ( NBA ) brings the beats to Boystown for this year's Northalsted Market Days, set for Aug. 10-11. The ...

Gay News

Jake Shears, Sheila E., Steve Grand part of 2019 Market Days lineup 2019-05-21 - CHICAGO—The Northalsted Business Alliance ( NBA ) brings the beats to Boystown for this year's Northalsted Market Days, set for Aug. 10-11. The ...

Gay News

Award-winning Songwriter, LGBTQ Activist Justin Tranter Gives Back To Alma Mater 2019-05-17 - When Justin Tranter was a student at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, they started an AIDS benefit, a student-run variety show that ...

Gay News

Megan Hilty sings Smash hits at the Goodman gala 2019-05-15 - Tony Award nominee Megan Hilty has had some unforgettable performances in the past with Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked and as Doralee ...

Gay News

Cirque du Soleil to perform at Soldier Field 2019-05-14 - Tuesday, May 14 — Chicago, IL — To mark the arrival of Cirque du Soleil's latest spellbinding production, VOLTA, in Chicago, more than ...

Gay News

THEATER August Rush: The Musical 2019-05-13 - Book & Lyrics: Glen Berger; Music & Lyrics: Mark Mancina. At: Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena August Rush: The Musical is ...

Gay News

Actress Doris Day dies at 97 2019-05-13 - Iconic actress and longtime animal-rights activist Doris Day has died at 97, media outlets reported. USA Today noted that Day became a touchstone ...

Gay News

Chicago Gay Men's Chorus to present Stonewalled: 50 Queer Years May 17-19 2019-05-10 - CHICAGO, May 9, 2019 — Chicago Gay Men's Chorus presents their annual spring show Stonewalled: 50 Queer Years. The show will be performed ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.