The Latinos of Stylos: Best Local Band

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You could be into mainstream pop music, or into subcultures of hip hop or rock, and yet Phoenix is probably host to a scene that supports whatever local music you seek to attach yourself to. There are multiple scenes developing simultaneously – some are attached to specific venues and the culture around them, whereas others grow out of what sometimes seems like thin air. If there’s one thing that unites Phoenicians, it’s definitely music. If you cruise through the city on any weekend night, you won’t have trouble finding yourself in a dark bar or venue hosting local bands or DJ’s trafficking their frequent haunts.

Stylos nominated two Latinos for Best Local Band: Alan Ponce, and Carlos Rivas Y Su Orquestra Mex-Sal.

Alan Ponce is hailed as “El Charro de Arizona,” and gained international popularity after competing on Tengo Talento Mucho Talento and La Voz Kids, the Spanish-language version of The Voice…but for kids. In his traditional mariachi outfit, complete with boots and hat, he’s covered pop acts like Jose Jose, Alejandro Fernandez, and Vicente Fernandez. When you hear the mature voice rising out of Alan’s thin frame, you forget he’s not already some established mariachi heartthrob. He’s got a lot of future ahead of him.

Phoenix’s salsa king Carlos Rivas and his salsa band recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of bringing their tropical sounds to the Valley. As frontman, Carlos not only provides vocals, but is also a talented multi-instrumentalist. He brings an unparalleled classic salsa band style: he sports slick suits and slicker moves, and the band is in fully coordinated outfits from their shoes to their hair. The crowd and dancers rip in step to the rhythm Carlos sets, as he dances to addictive tracks such as “Margarita,” and “Dos Caminos.”

Although they are not nominated, La Santa Cecilia will be performing at the Stylos Awards Show on November 22nd at the Phoenix Art Museum.

This, of course, begs the question: where’s la Phoenikera’s alternative scene at? Traditional sounds are well and good but a Latin rock band never hurt anyone…