Meet Viento Callejero: Former La Santa Cecilia guitarist’s electrifying take on classic big band cumbias

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Née: Gloria Estrada, Federico Zuniga Jr., & Gabriel Villas .

Raíces: Los Angeles, California (The other Cali.)

Sounds Like: Santana playing classic cumbias on his guitar, ChoQuibTown, Tres Coronas, Systema Solar.

You should listen to Viento Callejero because…these big band cumbias have never sounded so electrifying.

When the fiery guitarist Gloria Estrada decided to leave L.A.’s fast-rising fusion band La Santa Cecilia, most of us who had seen her live were shocked and wondered what she would do next. Well, here she is with her new project, Viento Callejero. The band is composed of Estrada on guitar, Chicano Batman’s Gabriel Villa, Federico Zuniga Jr. from the Grammy-nominated electro-jarocho group Sistema Bomb, and will feature a rotating roster of guest singers.

Viento Callejero has set out to cover old school big band cumbia classics in a very innovative way. Estrada had the idea a long time ago, but grappled with how to recreate the multitude of horns and instruments on these orchestral tracks with just one guitar, bass, and drums. The final result is an electrified cumbia sound that finds itself somewhere between the psychedelic guitar licks of Peruvian Chicha and classic Santana riffs. The music will captivate your ears and get your hips swaying.

Viento Callejero plan on recording these blazing versions very soon but for now you can get a taste with a video of their recent intimate cover of Lucho Bermudez’s “Tolu.”

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