Y La Bamba
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Y La Bamba

Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Billboard Review"

"Doing Portland proud: Y La Bamba" - Billboard Magazine

"Buzzbands LA Review"

"Portland, OR quintet Y La Bamba makes fractured folk that sounds as if it comes from dog-eared diaries. The author is statuesque Luz Elena, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, whose vintage vocals seem to come from the 78-rpm era." - Buzzbands LA

"The Stranger Review"

"The songs were like mature lullabies, brooding and rich, playful but never lingering on the surface...it was difficult not to be seduced." - The Stranger - Seattle

"Willamette Week Review"

"She sings from a different altitude, where the air is thinner and the footing shakier. Luz Elena Mendoza, leader of Y La Bamba, sings with the bright and humbling flicker of a meteor shower. Untampered folk’s answer to St. Vincent, Mendoza sounds like she’s crooning to the Victrola tube amp that her satin-soft guitar strums blossoms from." - Willamette Week


Alida St - 2009



y la bamba began in early 2008 as luz elena mendoza began playing shows, and wanted a name other than her own to play under. she began writing and making home recordings of her songs one by one. during this process she began hosting an open mic regularly at a sake bar in northeast portland. this is where y la bamba began. she met ben meyercord, who elena describes as, “one of the many beautiful people i met who opened me up and saved my soul.” meyercord and mendoza began playing together and brought in luz elena’s long time friend and collaborator, mike kitson on drums, with the addition of david kyle on lead guitar and eric shrapel on accordion. y la bamba was complete.

luz elena went through a major transformation upon moving to portland in 2008, citing the local music scene of portland as a kind of savior. combined with the heritage of traditional mexican music lent to her from her parents she describes her influences as “loch lomond and devendra banhardt, a lot of old school mexican 30’s music, basically it comes from my parents.... seriously, all of their music” it becomes evident upon listening to the music of y la bamba that luz elena draws from a deep well of varying influences.

what began as a journey of self-actualization and musical redefining for luz elena has developed and evolved into what many now know as y la bamba. the band has attracted a lot of attention in their home town of portland, or. pdx pop now! a free festival put on every year featured y la bamba’s “fasting in san francisco” on it’s 2008 compilation.

“alida st.”, a collection of the home recordings by luz elena was released in dec of 2008 by start-up label “gypsy pop records” to much excitement. look forward to a whole new collection of songs, the bands first full length, "Lupon" to be released early 2010!