Music and Love by the Sea
Pepe Marquez debuts his new CD
A juxtaposition of sound, a gentle whistle of the winds signaling change, and a realignment of the planets occured this weekend in the Land of 1000 Dances, and LatinoLA was watching it all, feeling the karma like a slow buzz in the warmth of the home teepee among tribal famila.
Published on LatinoLA: March 28, 2006
L.A. was alive with 1960's activism and Chicano power, to the nostalgic delight of this old vato, and many other Movimiento Veteranos of the West Coast, as the movie "Walkout" premiered, and almost a million people marched non-violently in downtown L.A.
An East L.A. music legend was called home for his final rest, to the heartbreak of many an "Eastside Sound" music fan and affecionado. Romeo Prado of THEE MIDNITERS left us on Saturday, March 25th.( R.I.P. , Carnal, and thanks for the music!!!)
An L.A. music diva came back to perform on stage after a fight with cancer, to the pure delight of her fans. Becky Cordova of THE COMPANY is back!
And a homie from Santa Barbara who has endeared himself with many an L.A. Chicano music fan, gave us all a sign of new, good times to come.
That being said, my good friend, singer Pepe Marquez threw a bash for about 300 of his closest friends in downtown Santa Barbara to celebrate the release of his 2nd solo CD "Dance Mamacita", and what a party it was !
The El Paseo Restaurant was the scene last Friday night, as I was honored to host and Emcee a live show that had guests from L.A. and Santa Barbara mingling wonderfully and harmoniously in the cool seabreezes of Santa Barbara, California, heaven on the West Coast of Aztlan.
Opening the occasion was L.A. Comedian Ernie "G", who busted a few guts with his L.A. "Ghetto" humor routine, bringing laughs and giggles during the dinner hour. Ernie stayed to party with the Gente for the night, and even gave us a second routine afterwards .
Then, one of Santa Barbara's favorite local groups, The Misbehavin' Band, came up for opening performance that featured as a special guest, The East L.A. Revue All Star Band's "Conga Ray" Ybarra on percussion, kicking the party up a notch and getting the dance floor busy.
After Ernie G's second performance, it was time to introduce the star of the show. Although he had been in the audience, having dinner and getting some boogie time in with his lovely Lady Yolie, the hometown crowd nonetheless allowed for a grand entrance and welcome on stage to their favorite son, Mr. Pepe Marquez, whose smile of pride and gratitude was visible from start to finish. My on stage introduction was almost drowned out by the loyal, roaring crowd.
Singing almost every song off his new CD, Pepe was joined on stage by singer Lorena Crisenberry, who joins him on the CD for 2 outstanding cuts, and together they brought roars of approval when performing their bi-lingual duets "Never can say goodbye" and "Very special",and he received a standing ovation from the crowd at the end of his set.
Always a great entertainer, Pepe was called back on stage a while later by the Misbehavin' Band afterwards for some Oldies and Old School dance tunes, as the crowd happily danced the night away. What a party!
In the crowd, I spotted members of the SATISFACTION BAND, Chris Reserva and Jimmy Silva and their Ladies, and members of the COMPANY BAND Eddie Garcia and his Lady, and Ray & Becky Cordova enjoying the show. Singer Becky Cordova, had just won a fight with cancer, having returned to the stage the night before at the Montebello Inn, and now here she was, getting her boogie on in Santa Barbara, supporting Pepe's new CD. ("We just love Pepe in L.A." she proclaimed afterwards). Did SHE look good!
I was out there with my Lady, gettin' my boogie on and who should I bump into? You guessed it...Mr. RAMPART RECORDS himself, Steven Chavez and his lovely Lady Janie, all smiles, all boogie, all heart. "This is a great event, and I'm having good time!" Steven proclaimed on the dance floor between beats. He later told me he only attends "good" events outside of L.A....and this was one of the better ones.
All these people from L.A. partying in Santa Barbara on a Friday night, giving up gigs and other invitations locally, has to tell you something...this Pepe Marquez guy is good!
(Why else would my Lady & I be up there, with all the great goings on in L.A.?)
I met more than a couple of hometown L.A. folks, and I'm sure if not for crowd capacity limitations, there would have been more than the standing room only crowd of 300.
More than likely, Pepe will bring his new CD release fever to L.A. for anothergreat party...and when he does, you know you'll hear about it here, on LatinoLA.com !
note: for more info on Pepe Marquez: www.pepemarquez.com
Frankie Firme is the "Al Capone of the microphone, and the HITMAN of West Coast Chicano Soul".