The Underground Music Showcase is just around the corner and we wanted to celebrate the diversity and culture that this years’s festival will allow us to enjoy. Latin music has been around for many years and we are lucky to be home to quite a few bands here in our own city. This year’s UMS spared no expensive to give us a weekend to celebrate latin music at its finest. A slew of national and locals will grace the stages of venues all across Broadway next weekend to showcase the biggest growing genre in music today. (In no particular order)
1. Chicano Batman | Showcase Stage @ Goodwill Saturday, Jul 27 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Hailing from Los Angeles, California, the dapper four piece blends the soulful sounds of the 70’s with an upbeat and infectious romantic pop. The band pays homage to the early bands of yesteryear including the Los Angeles Negros and Los Pasteles Verdes. They have built a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in the industry due to their extensive touring and festival appearances. We are lucky to be graced with the amazing sounds for this years Underground Music Showcase.
2. Y La Bamba | Knockout Stage @ Punch Bowl Social Sunday, Jul 28 6:20 PM - 7:00 PM
Y La Bamba is gracefully evolving as a major player in the folk scene. Blessed by the vocals of Luz Elena Mendoza, the band takes us on a journey in which they step over boundaries to connect with their audience with rich narratives about heritage and legacies left behind. The creative songwriting is a warm welcome of a woman whose identity is shaped by her ancestry and we are fortunate enough to live to see the tale. It’s also a homecoming for Julia Mendiolea of Inner Oceans fame who returns to Denver as a member of the band.
3. ALTAS | Moe's Original BBQ Saturday, Jul 27 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM and Skylark Lounge Sunday, Jul 28 11:00 PM - 11:40 PM
ALTAS is one of the most underrated bands in Denver. They have been honing their craft for sometime and deliver with a sound unlike no other. Flanked by ambient sounds and lush dreamscapes the instrumental band reminds us of a latin Explosions In The Sky. The music is unconventional but demands your attention without you realizing you have already been pulled in.
4. Big J Beats | Blue Ice Saturday, Jul 27 3:00 PM - 3:40 PM
Big J Beats is the moniker of Justin Alvarado, hailing from the Mile High City. Ask any hip-hop head or beat junkie and Alvarado’s name slips off the tongue without hesitation. A marksman behind the beat machine Big J Beats delivers uncanny strokes and explosive finger mastery that eludes into a one-of-a-kind show rarely seen. A Denver legend in the making, you don’t have to see it to believe it, just listen.
5. Don Chicharrón | Showcase Stage @ Goodwill Saturday, Jul 27 4:00 PM - 4:40 PM
There is only one band in Denver that identifies itself as the Kings of Chicha. Don Chicharón plays a style of music that most of us can relate to as cumbia music. Only difference is they do it with a Peruvian flare that lights up their live shows into a full on dance party. The nine-piece band delivers with an array of sounds that channel folk, cumbia, psych rock and a percussion section that serves up all the fixings all on one plate. A band that truly honors those who came before them, they give the listeners something they will always remember.
6. iZCALLi | Skylark Lounge Saturday, Jul 27 1:00 AM - 1:40 AM
Long heralded as one of our favorite bands for the last few years iZCALLi deliver a supersonic blast of rock in Español. Anchoring the band is Miguel Avina (lead guitar/vocals) and sister Brenda Avina (bass) who deliver punchy guitar driven melodies and backed by the drumming of Luiggi Ramirez (who by the way we consider the best drummer in Denver, fight us!). The band spreads the importance of love and unity in its music and leaves a long lasting impression after all is said and done. We only know of one way to go out on Saturday night and it will be with iZCALLi.
7. Jackie Mendoza | Knockout Stage @ Punch Bowl Social Sunday, Jul 28 4:20 PM - 5:00 PM
An artist we recently discovered at SXSW, Jackie Mendoza is one of the many latin growing artist we are seeing blossom. Hailing from Chula Vista, California ( a bordertown with Tijuana), Mendoza delivers electro-pop and performs in both English and Spanish giving her a unique dynamic which barely exists in the genre. Her songs often relate to the modern day complexities of love and relationships which emphasize the importance of loving yourself to equate happiness in its most complex forms.
8. Los Mocochetes | 3 Kings Tavern Sunday, Jul 28 10:00 PM - 10:40 PM
No other band has equated to the success Los Mocochetes have in the last three years here in the Mile High City. Our 2018 “Band of the Year” has outdone themselves to become a staple in the Denver music scene. Their message of positivity and love comes at a time when it is most needed for us and they explore those relationships through the magic of music. Their sound can only be described as a cornucopia of various elements that exude funk and latin infused elements of cumbia, and socio-political agendas that resonate into their live performances.
9. Vic N’ The Narwals | Showcase Stage @ Goodwill Sunday, Jul 28 1:20 PM - 2:00 PM
Cut from the same thread as fellow surf rockers Los Growlers, Vic N’ The Narwals deliver a live performance unlike no other. The band takes its influences from 60’s rock and and a sound that maintains originality but also infuses a hint of The Doors. The band is slowly leaving their mark on the Colorado scene and is only a matter of time before they get discovered and introduced to the world to enjoy.
10. Joshua Trinidad | Banded Oak Brewing Co. Friday, Jul 26 7:00 PM - 7:40 PM
Joshua Trinidad has been a consistent mainstay as one of the hardest working musicians in our city, an accomplished trumpeter, Trinidad evokes the craftsmanship and extensive list of performers he has had the pleasure to sit in with. Hailed as one of the best Trinidad continues to impress and gift us a sound that is distinctive and one of a kind.
11. Lady Gang | Denver Distillery Saturday, Jul 27 10:00 PM - 10:40 PM
Nobody works as hard as Jen Korte who also goes by the name Lady Gang. Also fun fact, not many know Jen comes from a latino background (we did our homework). Lady Gang isn’t a musician or band, it is more of an experience than anything else. We love witnessing creativity at its finest and with Lady Gang we get that and a second plate to take home. Stepping outside the boundaries of conformity Lady Gang gives us a blissful array of sounds from a loop machine and guitar. We highly recommend catching her set at this year’s Underground Music Showcase.