Cuchata's music is rooted in the traditional rhythms and sounds of Latin America. You will find hints of everything from Cumbia and Montuno to rock and hip-hop.


Falling somewhere between the traditional and the experimental, Cuchata's music is the very definition of Latin Alternative music, and arguably the only band of it's kind in Seattle. Their entirely original compositions join afro-latin traditions with elements of rock, hip-hop, drum and bass, avant-garde jazz, dub reggae, afrobeat, and more. Certainly not a latin-jazz band, by no means salsa, rock en espanol, or cumbia, Cuchata borrows from all these genres and blends them with a rare fluency.
Cuchata was born out of guitarist/singer/songwriter Marcelo E. Quinonez’s 1999 pilgrimage to his ancestral Nicaragua. There he discovered and fell under the spell of the country’s rich musical heritage. Upon returning to the USA, he combined his new-found knowledge with his love of other Afro-Latin traditions to fashion a musical expression of his own. Joined by percussionist/keyboardist Bryan Cook, Quinonez formed Cuchata in 2000. The band, which now includes bassist Cody Rahn and a horn section, released their debut album on Eleggua Records in 2003. It was a fascinating amalgam of influences from Nicaragua, Peru, Cuba and Colombia, with Caribbean-side Central American vocal flavors and Pampas rhythms from Paraguay and Argentina.
Since that time, Cuchata has grown musically, as has their intense desire to constantly update and hybridize their sound. Cuchata consistently strives to craft music that defies genres on one hand, yet fits neatly into many on the other. Their forthcoming release shows the diversity of their style, and their ability to integrate ancient and modern influences into a cohesive blend of original compositions. Cuchata performs regularly in and around Seattle where they have a very loyal following and have played to capacity crowds. They have shared the stage with such bands as Quetzal at The Conga Room (L.A.), legendary Cuban percussionist Francisco Aguabella at The Temple Bar (L.A.), and recently opened a sold-out show for world music sensation Lhasa De Sela at The Triple Door in Seattle. Cuchata has also licensed their music for television (“Road Trip Nation”, PBS) and is currently working on getting their music licensed to an upcoming feature film.

"The marvelous thing about Cuchata’s music is that they weave all the threads of their influences into a handsome musical fabric that is at once fully-integrated and personal. It certainly helps that Quinonez is a terrific songwriter. You don’t need to be fluent in Spanish to recognize the natural flow of language and fresh melody that flows through his songs. His idiomatic guitar and expressive baritone receive uncommonly sensitive support from Rahn and Cook. We can’t recommend this band highly enough to anyone with even a passing interest in Latin musical culture. The same can be said about their self-titled CD on Eleggua Records, available at local CD/record stores."
-From (Seattle, WA)


- Self-titled full-length Release, 2002
- Just Released second full-length release
"Sangre Mixto".

Set List

Cuchata has material for up to two fifty minute sets.