Cosmic Jibaros
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Cosmic Jibaros

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"Bridgeport Latin rock band Cosmic Jibaros to perform at Fairfield Theatre Company"

The title of Cosmic Jibaros' one and only studio album is "Yo Soy Del Mundo," or, in English, "I Am of the World."

In one sense, it recalls the displacement felt by frontman Rick Reyes following his move to America from Puerto Rico. In another, it is the ideal maxim for a band that is not only multiethnic, but embracing of musical traditions from across the globe.

"In my world, that's the norm," Reyes said. "People are from different places, they have different backgrounds. That's the way the world is going. That's the future."

Cosmic Jibaros, the Bridgeport-based Latin rock band celebrating a decade of performing in Connecticut, will take the stage at the Fairfield Theatre Company on Saturday, July 9, at 7:30 p.m.

Founded by professional musicians who work in and around the Park City, the band represents a robust blend of nationalities -- from Puerto Rican and Polish to Irish and Jamaican. Though Latin rock is the sonic bedrock of Cosmic Jibaros, the band pulls together such disparate elements as jazz, funk, soul, samba, salsa, afrobeat and alternative rock.

It is only natural, given the band's assorted backgrounds and musical tastes, that the sound would turn out to be so wide-ranging and eclectic, Reyes said.

"When you look at the band, and the diversity of the band, you can see where the music comes from," said Reyes, who was born in Bridgeport and moved to Puerto Rico, where he lived with his family until he was 15. "We come from all these different angles."

He sees the band as part of the wave of Latin rock bands sprouting up across the United States. Reyes said what sets Cosmic Jibaros apart is that while many of those groups hail from Texas (Los Lonely Boys, Del Castillo) and the West Coast (Los Lobos, Ozomatli), "we represent Connecticut."

"As far as I know, you can't find anything like us anywhere else" in the Northeast, he said.

Conceived of a decade ago, the band solidified its lineup in 2003 as Reyes hooked up with local musicians, including guitarist Darian Cunning and percussionist Tony Cintrón, whom he met at Bridgeport's Acoustic Cafe (Cintrón had previously drummed for Ricky Martin). The remaining band members -- drummer Christopher Stanley, bassist Juan Carlos Vega, conga player Johnny Durkin, keyboardist Tony Senes and percussionist Obanilu Allende -- also hail from the Bridgeport area or New York City.

Since forming, the band has performed occasional gigs -- it's difficult to get all the members together in one place at the same time -- throughout the tri-state area, including Cinco de Mayo parties at the Acoustic Cafe, the Wilton Library's Summer Music and More concert series and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven.

Reyes, who recently recorded his debut solo EP at the Carriage House Studios in Stamford, said a second Cosmic Jibaros album is in the works.

While the group has yet to experience commercial success, its distinctive, forward-thinking sound has helped spread the word about Cosmic Jibaros. And, not surprisingly, its fanbase tends to be just as diverse as the band itself.

All this makes for a truly cross-cultural experience, something Reyes described as "the new America."

"We are representative of a community that's coming into its own," Reyes said. "We're creating a new sound by embracing other styles.

"With the effects of globalization, people can hear different music from different places. That's exactly what we're all about."

StageOne at the Fairfield Theatre Company is at 70 Sanford St., Fairfield. Saturday, July 9, 7:30 p.m. $14, $10 for members. 203-259-1036,

- Connecticut Post


Yo Soy Del Mundo, 2007



The Cosmic Jibaros have reinvented the idea of a typical Latin Rock Band. The band builds from Latin and Caribbean rhythms, rock guitars and World music influences for a sound that’s both cross-cultural and highly danceable. With the irresistible pull of traditional Afro-Caribbean Beats, Cosmic Jibaros interplay between the congas and timbales and mix in urban elements of deep drum and bass and effects-laden guitar work. These songs are laced with social and political overtones, and are sung primarily in Spanish by charismatic front man Ricardo Reyes.

The Cosmic Jibaros name reflects the blending flavors of the Music they make. In Puerto Rico, ‘los jibaros’ would be something akin to the American ‘mountain men’- with a musical tradition historically known for a more simple and honest connection to the earth and the hard work of living. The ‘cosmic’ part warns of a modern twist on the old traditions. Taking cues from a cross section of world music and creating an original, Latin progressive sound.

As their bandleader Rick Reyes points out, “Young Latinos today cross all cultural boundaries. They carry with them the history and the culture of where their parents came from but at the same time have an open mind to what is happening now. You can’t be a part of this world without being influenced by it as you go. Our music is very much a product of the evolution of Latinos in the United States”. The Cosmic Jibaros reflect that and their first album, “Yo Soy Del Mundo” (I Am of the World) tells that story.