Las Chikas are coming to rock Carson City with their spicy blend of salsa music and more on Saturday. The all-female band is known for its multicultural take on music that reflects the melting pot of cultures and ethnicity from its home in Los Angeles. The founding member was Cuban, and the band includes many ethnicities.
As a salsa band, their roots come from Latin American with American influences, and they include other genres such as cumbia.
“We try to represent all kinds of music,” bandmember Lindsay McMurray said.
There’s eight bandmembers on stage, and McMurray said that translates into a lot of energy.
“We have lots of dancing and we have lots of fun,” McMurray said. “It’s a really fun time and people can tell that we can have a fun time.”
The band has been around for 15 years with different iterations of members. The founder moved back to Cuba when the pandemic started, but McMurray and the other bandmembers kept the band going. The band started playing in restaurants and it was chosen to be the house band as part of the TV show Noches con Platanito. Las Chikas grew from that.
The band features three singers: Whitney, May MV and Gabby. Whitney is the daughter of the founder. Then Maria on bass, Dolores on piano, Anita on timbales, Sandie on congas, Anne on trumpet and McMurray plays trombone.
“We’re very lucky with the girls we have,” McMurray said. “It’s a super fun band, and it sounds great.”
The band will be focusing on original music Saturday.
“We’ll have lots of fun tunes that everyone can dance to, and they can sing along with maybe after hearing the first minute,” McMurray said.
The band releases its music on streaming platforms, and has not put out any albums. McMurray said that’s because the industry has changed with more streaming services. The band’s plan is to keep releasing more music as singles and focus on live performances.
“We really enjoy playing live and we’re creating new music all of the time,” she said.
McMurray said the band tries to record its concerts and puts songs and clips on its YouTube channel and Instagram: @laschikasoficial.
ALL WOMAN BAND
Las Chikas sticks to their name in being an all-woman band. There are some advantages to that but it also has its disadvantages, McMurray said. She said the main struggle is that they get counted out.
“The national inclination with some groups is that we can’t do the job, or that they don’t think we’re good, so gaining trust in the industry is something that we struggle with,” she said. “If they take a chance on us and hear us play, we prove ourselves very quickly. It’s just the initial skepticism.”
For the positives, she said working with a group of women is special because there’s not a lot of competition.
“It’s more supportive,” she said.
She said with some bands, there can be a tendency for a struggle of whose voice to listen to and you must fight to be the one who is right or who is heard. In Las Chikas, the band has a very open attitude, where if someone doesn’t have the right answer, they’re open to hearing what everyone else thinks.
“It’s very collaborative and supportive and there’s no blaming,” she said. “It’s just how we get better together.”
Their presence at shows in the community also gives them more representation, she said. It shows young girls that there is a place for them to play music and that there are opportunities.
“Having visibility in the community really helps develop women musicians from a young age,” she said.
She said it’s also good for young boys to see the bands full of women to normalize seeing women on stage.
“When they see it as normal too, when they grow up, they don’t treat us differently,” she said.
This will be the first time Las Chikas will be performing in Carson City, but McMurray said she has played here and is excited to be coming back.
“Carson City has been one of the most supportive cities I’ve ever been to,” she said.
The trombonist played at the BAC Levitt AMP concert in 2018 with Urban Renewal project, so she is familiar with the setting. She said people really come out and enjoy the music, buy merchandise, hang out, bring their families and stay for the show.
“That’s one of the best things of coming to Carson City, is how lovely the people are,” she said. “It’s been every time I come here, and every time has been such a pleasure.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Las Chikas with opening act So Conocimiento at Brewery Art Center’s Levitt AMP Concert Series
WHERE: 449 W. King St. at the Brewery Arts Center
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, July 29
MORE INFO: breweryarts.org; https://www.laschikas.com/