Sounds Like: East L.A. Chicano Rock
You should listen to Quetzal because…they just won a Grammy that’s far overdue
Do y’all remember when Arcade Fire won a Grammy two years ago? Fans had to spend weeks listening to incredulous ignoramuses shout “WHO EVEN IS THIS?!” at the heavens. Something similar happened this weekend at the Grammys when East L.A.-based Quetzal won an award for Best Latin Alternative, Urban or Rock Album for Imaginaries, winning over Carla Morrison, Ana Tijoux, Campo, and Sistema Bomb. “¿QUIEN?” were the cries of incredulity blogged throughout the internet. Well, let me tell you “quien” y what’s up.
Founder Quetzal Flores discovered son jarocho in 1992 and started Quetzal soon after with his wife, Chicana artivist (artist/activist)/feminist music theorist Martha Gonzalez, in order to create Chicano rock music that included son in its compositions. The group grew into a sextet that championed the old-school style of Lalo Guerrero, Los Lobos, and others throughout the years.
Their most important work, however, is their work with and for the community of Los Angeles. If there’s a non-profit that needs help raising money, the group is there to help them out with a benefit show. A political rally or school fundraiser? They’re there too. Quetzal is not only a band but also a proud representative of Latinos in Los Angeles and California. Their work throughout the past two decades deserves more than a Grammy…but the award is a good first step!