Over 40 years ago in Los Angeles, a group of childhood friends formed the group Mestizo. They began by using portable record players as amplifiers and performing for family functions in backyards. Eventually several members of the band went on to become teachers, principals and professors while continuing to play and write their own music.
So, why the name Mestizo? Mestizo is a special term. It means a coming together of different peoples, struggles, cultures - where lifestyles are shared, especially music. And coming from Los Angeles, the multicultural center of the world, the band definitely experienced several musical influences. The result is a unique sound - some call it West Coast Salsa - that combines a strong sense of Chicano pride with music inspired by salsa, rock, and rhythm & blues. In fact, the music mix can be heard throughout all their CDs.
Performing alongside the likes of Los Lobos, Tierra, El Chicano, Willie Bobo, Freddy Fender, Malo, and Thee Midnighters, Mestizo recorded several original tracks that resulted in the first CD: Mestizo -- Mixing It Up while ending up in other venues as well. "What Am I Going To Do?" was originally released by Rhino records in a compilation album titled Los Angelinos produced by Ruben Guevarra. The song "Mestizo" was released by Sancho on his Volume I CD: Airwaves of Aztlan. Later on, "Want Your Love" was released on Sancho's Volume III CD: Best of Sancho.
Since folks couldn't wait for our second CD to premiere, we put out a Special 3 Song Pre-Release CD. This special CD has tunes titled "Going To Call You" (a romantic ballad), "Everlasting Love" (a jazzy tune), and a hard-driving salsa tribute to Cesar Chavez titled, "Si Se Puede (Que Viva Cesar Chavez)".
Mestizo's second CD: Mestizo -- As Promised continued to reflect a variety of influences from salsa, R&B and jazz. Including songs from the Special Pre-Release CD, this CD shows the versatility of Mestizo in mixing various music types into their unique sound.
Finally, as fans continued to enjoy our "cover" tunes from our salsa, cumbia, and R&B influences, we decided to record our first "cover" CD titled: Mestizo - Under Cover. This high-spirited CD has become a fan favorite with some songs being played on Gozando with Erik "Chico" Manqueros on his online Internet Jukebox.
Lead guitar, Timbales, Vocals,
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
A special thank you to all the musicians that have jammed
with us throughout the years:
Hector Tovar, Roberto Ceja, Micky Gonzalez, Tony Fernandez,
Steve Morden, Matt Mcfadden, Mike Mercado,
Augie Roman, Herman Flores, David Goldstein, Bobby Navarrete,
Andy Armenta, Rene Flores, Ken Tussing, Ron Barrows,
Ted Murdock, Steve and Rudy Salas, Xavier Vargas,
Leo Fernandez, Eddie Flores, Lucila Ramos, Joey Guerra, Erik Weeks