La Santa Cecilia | Mayne Stage | International | Chicago Reader
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La Santa Cecilia

La Santa Cecilia

La Santa Cecilia 18+ Agenda Recommended Soundboard

When: Tue., June 24, 7:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $18-$30
Los Angeles band La Santa Cecilia, which consists of Latin American immigrants and children of immigrants, made a splash last year with the infectiously breezy, bossa-kissed single “Ice el Hielo,” which undercut its sunny melody with stark lyrics about illegals living in tension and fear. (The title is a play on the acronym for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that took over from the INS in 2003—“el hielo” is Spanish for “ice.”) The group’s accordionist, Jose “Pepe” Carlos, was in immigration limbo until last year, when he finally secured a work permit and social security card. La Santa Cecilia recently won a Latin-rock Grammy for their major-label debut, Treinta Dias, and they carry on their vibrant hybrid sound on the recent Someday New (Universal Latino). The album opens with a cover of the Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” that borrows rhythms and textures from norteño music and transforms the tune from a drug anthem into a salute to the migrant farm workers who harvest strawberries throughout central California. La Santa Cecilia braid various Latin American sounds with rock, soul, and reggae, which feels entirely natural coming from pan-cultural southern California; the soulful, throaty singing of Marisol Hernández ties everything together. This is the group’s Chicago debut. —Peter Margasak

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