La Chamba closes Levitt AMP Concert Series on Saturday
August 22, 2018
The Levitt AMP Concert Series comes to a close this weekend, and La Chamba will bring their energy from Los Angeles to give Carson City something to remember.
"We're gonna bring all the L.A. energy that we can bring," Jason Zepeda said. "It's a real honor to close out a series like this because it's something that is free and community-based. It's the heart of the city. We're going make sure everyone gets up and has a good time."
La Chamba's music is deep in Peruvian roots. The style they play is Chicha music, which became popular in Peru in the 1960s. The band puts its own spin on the genre, and calls theirs Chicha Angelina, a unique fusion of the psychedelic vintage tones of Peruvian cumbia, with a sound that represents the band member's life experiences in the city of Los Angeles. It has classic rock guitars, melody that is very catchy, surf rock, grungy tones and psychedelic tones over a Latin rhythm, Zepeda said.
The band came about when Zepeda and a friend started playing music at college in Santa Cruz. They started a blues band and had a guitar over Latin rhythm. Then a Peruvian DJ told them they were playing Chicha music.
"We were unknowingly playing the music that had been born in Peru," Zepeda said. "Signs were pointing us toward this music. We fell in love with the sound."
None of the band members are from Peru, but Zepeda is always honoring the roots where the music comes from and respecting the tradition, he said. He is well versed when it comes to the history and evolution through different regions of Peru. He said the music ventured through Latin America, but didn't reach the US until about 10 years ago.
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"In LA, there's a big movement for this type of music," Zepeda said. "There's a dance renaissance and so many fans are sprouting up and bringing the dance culture of Latin America to downtown LA.
The band is working on their second album. They are in the middle of a campaign to raise funds and already reached their minimum goal of $3,000. The final goal is $10,000.
"We're grinding and we're about to drop our second album," he said.
This will be La Chamba's first time performing in Carson City, and the band hopes to expand internationally as well. Zepeda has connections in Peru and hopes to perform there some day, and he also has a friend in Japan who runs a Latin music store.
"Playing in a new place is an opportunity to connect everyone despite background, upbringing, age, race or gender," he said. "If we can't dance together, we can't have a society that can get along."
Zepeda's message of unity is his ultimate goal through his music.
"Our goal is to get everyone to put aside their differences," he said. "The dance floor is where we push everything to the side and we come together.
"We really want to experience that and share that with our family in Carson City."