Southern California is ready to welcome Viva! Pomona for its eighth consecutive year. On August 24-25, promoter René Contreras and his team are taking over Pomona’s The Glass House once again to bring us two days of music with some of the best indie acts bubbling up in the regional scene, as well as some important names from Latin America and the US.
Since its inception, Viva! Pomona has made an exceptional effort to support lesser-known projects and give them a stage to connect with potential music fans on a live setting. The festival’s curation is always one step ahead of the game, as many of the artists they’ve booked early in their career, such as Cuco, Chicano Batman, or Omar Apollo, have gained notoriety in the following years.
Headlining the festival this year are L.A. psych-pop quintet Inner Wave, Mexican darlings Little Jesus, San Diego garage-rockers Beach Goons, Mexican-American pop artist Y La Bamba, and Stones Throw signee Los Retros. Sharing the bill are also Chicago-via-Colombia psychedelic act Divino Niño, Mexicali electronic music maestro Trillones, dream-pop artist Jackie Mendoza, and Coachella alumni Señor Kino, from Sonora, just to name a few.
Needless to say, Latinx and Latin American acts are as well-represented on Viva! Pomona as they always are, and including acts some you may be listening for the first time. That’s why we compiled a short list of four up-and-coming artists playing this year’s Viva! Pomona who deserve your complete attention, especially if you’re attending the festival. The festival lineup often turns out giving us a glimpse of the future, so you definitely won’t want to miss out.
Viva! Pomona is taking place at The Glass House, Pomona, on August 24-25. Get your tickets here.
Dueto Dos Rosas
Originally from San Martín Sabinillo, in Oaxaca, but based in San Marcos, California, sister duo Dueto Dos Rosas are keeping the Mexican folk tradition from the 1940’s and 50’s alive with their take on rancheras and corridos. YouTube is plagued with videos by Emily and Sheyla Rosas shredding on their guitars and belting out classics from the likes of José Alfredo Jiménez, Dueto Las Palomas, and Dueto América. You can expect a very special moment when the Rosas sisters take the stage.
Representing Blaxicans on Viva! Pomona is alt-pop crooner Jean Dawson. The San Diego artist navigates his bicultural background in his work, switching between English and Spanish on his songs that borrow from R&B, indie rock, and hip-hop production. This year he released his debut album Bad Sports, an inventive, boundary-pushing collection of songs which perfectly showcases his wide range of influences, from The Smiths to Outkast. Don’t miss his interpolation of Consuelo Velázquez “Yo No Fui” (that one Pedro Fernández sings) on his track “Blame By Me.”
Hailing from McAllen, Texas, songstress Jesika Cueta makes folk songs to give us the feels. A couple of songs was all it took for Viva! Pomona to take a shot at her and book her for this year’s festival, and she surely won’t disappoint. The only handful of her tracks that can be found online show her mellow vein, and she can melt even the most cynical hearts with her swooning voice. While we wait for a full release from Cueta, catch her live on August 24.
Parque de Cometas
Formed by former Mint Field member and current Policías y Ladrones guitarist Andrés Corella, Tijuana’s Parque de Cometas are starting to make waves with their indie-pop sound, which is beautifully splashed with shoegaze and post punk. While they’re currently working on their debut album, the singles they’ve shared instantly bring a smile to our faces, with their boy-girl vocals and guitar/synth work. Parque de Cometas is on our must-watch list.