Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta
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Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta

Tucson, Arizona, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Tucson, Arizona, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Latin Big Band

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"The night ended with the feral southwestern gothic energy of Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta, who put pretty much every other desert rock band to shame. The brass-fueled Tucson group pounced on a couple of noir-tinged, ska-punk flavored songs to open the show, then Mendoza put down his acoustic guitar and played surreal, macabre organ over a funereal bolero sway. From there they hit a lively, upbeat Tex-Mex groove that took a turn in a much more menacing spaghetti western direction when least expected, followed by an early Santana-esque psychedelic rock epic with long, space-reverb interludes for both organ and slide guitar. The lead guitarist took an even longer, more murky, echo-drenched solo later on, then lit up a couple of more familiar southwestern gothic themes with some chilling slide work as memorable as anything Friends of Dean Martinez ever recorded. A long, slinky, pitchblende cumbia groove might have been the highlight of the night, although a similarly brooding, low-key bolero that might have been Mendoza‘s version of Besame Mucho was right behind. Addressing the audience in Spanish, singer/percussionist Salvador Duran explained that out in Tucson, or Nogales, where Mendoza comes from, everything is up for grabs: banda music, rancheras, cumbia, rock, you name it. They closed the set with a rapidfire return to a darkly shuffling border rock theme. This was Mendoza’s first New York show as a bandleader, hopefully the first of many." - New York Music Daily


"Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta is a band from Arizona that splices together mambo — by way of Mexico — with psychedelic cumbia and other Latin styles. The result sounds like Perez Prado reconfigured for the 21st century" - NPR All Things Considered


"A mashup of old fashioned mambo and cumbia. They are so hot, the room was sweltering, not just heat-wise but the sound they were throwing off the stage....This incredible band! This incredible tight band that is so fun, free, and liberating. They just nailed it." - NPR All Songs Considered


"A bouncier horn section — part mariachi, part soul band — buttressed the songs of Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta, from Tucson, which played Mexican-style cumbias, polkas and mambos (and Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk”) with a few twists, like guitar solos out of psychedelia and surf-rock. The singer Salvador Durán delivered them with old-fashioned romance and near-operatic vibrato" - New York Times


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

A mambo big-band like youve never experienced, bandleader Sergio Mendoza helms one of the most exciting latin music bands operating today. He and his orchestra which can stretch to 19 pieces bring a fevered energy and vital approach to classic mambo and cumbia sounds.
Informed by influences like Perez Prado and Chico Che y La Crisis, the band is also directly influenced by Mendozas experience playing in Calexico, Devotchka, and Mexican Institute of Sound. The native of Nogales, Sonora has made a mark as a multi-instrumentalist with those celebrated groups and what he has brought back to his own band is an otherworldly- but urgent synthesis of time and regions.
The orchestra features vocalist Salvador Duran, who dueted with Willie Nelson on Senor in the Bob Dylan biopic Im Not There, and who has performed alongside Neko Case, Iron and Wine, and Glen Hansard.  
While Durans vocals create that classic vibe, the bands progressive arrangements and unique instrumentation make for a vital sound that keeps the band well off the nostalgia track. The vihuela, (Mariachi Guitar) lap steel, and Mariachi trumpets along with a baritone sax and a huge percussion section keep dancers on their feet.
The band toured Europe and the US around their first album Mambo Mexicano (Cosmica Records, 2012) and are readying to record a new album for release in Spring 2014.