Spanglish Band
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Spanglish Band

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Band Latin R&B

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"Music Group Combines the Best of Two Worlds"

Written by: Edgar Mendez

Drawing inspiration from a diverse cast of world renowned artists such as Tito Puente, Paoli Mejias and Gilberto Santa Rosa the Milwaukee based music group “Spanglish” looks to give America a different style of music, which is something they have long
been asking for.

The group Spanglish which was formed in the Fall of 2007 is comprised of band director Ulisis Santiago, trumpist Jake Heyer, saxophonist and flutist Kenny Kunz,
lead singer and percussionist Dennis Lopez, bassist and vocalist Candido Maldonado, guitarist and vocalist Johny Marrero, drummer and vocalist Chris Mell, director and vocalist Jeno Somlai, and Bobby Trujillo on the bongos arose out of what they called music fans search for a change and for variety in the Latin music scene in America.

Their music can range from salsa or cumbia to Latin pop or funk that is sung in either English or Spanish, but often times both in the same song. One moment you may be enjoying their rendition of a cover song from say Santana or Los Lonely Boys and the next thing you know they’re belting out a Jimmy Bosch song or even an original number, all in an attempt to reach out to both English and Spanish language music fans. They say that some believe that in order to dominate the music biz, you must be limited to one style. The Spanglish band disagrees and proves it with each performance.

The variety extends past their playlist and onto the diversity of their members and their musical backgrounds. Band director Ulisis Santiago began playing professionally in 1995 with a local band called the Tropical Heat. Since then he has been a freelance musician who has played with over 10 different bands. Wisconsinites, Jake Heyer and Kenny Kunz both received degrees in the music field from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. They have been musicians for numerous years and have ties to the White House of Music, which is located in Wauwatosa. Dennis Lopez, who was born in Puerto Rico, began his career as a musician at the tender age of 13. Also a talented dancer, Lopez was a winner in the “Rumba with the Stars” for the year 2007 as well as participant in the Chicago finals for the 3rd season of “So You Think You Can Dance”. Candido Maldonado, who received his first bass from a family member at the age of 15 has been playing with local bands since 1981. Bobby “Bongo” Trujillo is classified as the firecracker of the group who keeps things lively with his energy and extensive knowledge of the bongos.

The formation of the group Spanglish was an idea that had been passed around for the last couple years, though most of the group aside from newbies Jake Heyer and Chris Mell had been friends for quite some time. To ensure an equal voice in the group Santiago asked each musician to bring two songs that they would like to play. They happily obliged and what emerged was the exiting mix of music they feature today. The culmination of the groups practice and hard work came when they played their first gig on Valentine’s Day of 2008 at La Casa Vieja in Milwaukee.

If you weren’t one of the lucky ones to catch that show or one of their following concerts don’t worry. There will be plenty of chances to catch up with Spanglish this summer. Their next show will be at Mona’s in Milwaukee on Cinco De Mayo, followed by appearances at Con Safos in McFarland on May 31st, the Shank Hall in Milwaukee on June 6th, and two days later they will be performing at Our Lady of Peace Festival in Milwaukee. If you’re one of those music fans whose been yearning for some new life in the Latin music scene, the group Spanglish has brought it in a big way. Now all that’s left is for you to come out and experience it for yourself. - El Conquistador, May 2-8 Volume 11 Issue 18


"Spanglish Band"

Written by: Griselda Aldrete

With a little less than a year since it's inception, Spanglish Band is already making waves in the local Latin music scene. This band crosses cultures by playing a variety of English and Spanish songs in their performances. With regular monthly performances, check them out at www. spanglishband.com. - June/July 2008 issue of ¡Aquí! Milwaukee


Discography

First stop at www.spanglishband.com for everything about us.

Five, one minute demo tracks on www.spanglishband.com.
All are cover tunes.
Originals are played at gigs. You can also see a video feed of a Spanglish original at www.myspace.com/thespanglishband.

Photos

Bio

Uniting people from all walks of life, Spanglish intends to bring people together under the world's common language - Music! You'll never know what Spanglish will bring next to feed your soul. With fresh and innovative influences from around the globe, this band is out to impress!

The Spanglish Band has been making waves, as the first of its kind in Milwaukee. Inspired by their hometown community and its diversity the band began to form in 2007, creating a repertoire that would celebrate a global audience. Performing Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia, Reggaeton, Funk, R&B and more, the Spanglish Band aims to please!

Spanglish Band sets an innovative pace by extending an invitation to ALL CULTURES performing both American and Latino music. The song list is an eclectic mix of genres and styles sung in both English and Spanish. Once you experience the Spanglish Band, you will be captivated by the phenomenal talent and multiplicity of rhythms.

The band has also been concentrating on original music that is currently being added to performances. The cd they are working on will showcase traditional rhythms, yet incorporate fresh and innovative influences that extend the conventional boundaries. Traditional rhythms have never sounded so good, being spiced up Spanglish style!

Check us out at www.spanglishband.com. You can see a video clip of a jam session and an original, salsa remix of Bill Withers "Ain't No Sunshine", at www.myspace.com/thespanglishband.

The Spanglish Band looks forward to performing for you soon!