Los Amigos Invisibles | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Los Amigos Invisibles 

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Los Amigos Invisibles made a brief stateside splash back in 1998, when the hype for rock en espanol was at its loudest, but this group from Caracas, Venezuela, has always been less concerned with cultural politics than having a good time, insouciantly blending house, funk, acid jazz, disco, bossa nova, and various Afro-Cuban styles into musical settings for their Spanish-language come-ons. Since moving to New York the group has gravitated toward club beats, and The Venezuelan Zinga Son, Vol. 1 (Luaka Bop), their first album in four years, was produced by the legendary house-music production team Masters at Work, aka "Little" Louie Vega and Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, who pioneered the fusion of house and Latin dance on Nuyorican Soul (Giant Step, 1997). This new album is organized like a club set, opening with "Comodon Johnson," a breezy lounge piece, and closing with the scorching "Bruja." In between the retro synthesizer parts, the jazz-fusion guitar, and Julio Briceno's carefree croon evoke a swank poolside bacchanal circa 1976. It's proudly, blissfully shallow. The group headlines the first day of the Old Town School of Folk Music's annual Folk & Roots Festival, which kicks off at 1 PM and also features performances by the French Gypsy group Les Yeux Noirs, Bembeya Jazz (see Spot Check), and Chicago Afrobeat Project. There's a suggested $5 donation, $1 for seniors and children. See Fairs & Festivals listings for the complete lineup. Saturday, July 10, 8:15 PM, Welles Park, 2333 W. Sunnyside; 773-728-6000.

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