Cambalache

About

Cambalache, meaning exchange, is a Chicano-Jarocho group based in East Los Angeles. Founded in 2007 and led by César Castro (sonero, maestro and luthier from Veracruz, Mexico), Cambalache plays and promotes traditional son jarocho through performance, music workshops, and educational demonstrations. In the spirit of the fandango, a traditional celebration of music and dance, Cambalache engages its audience through participatory performances.

In 2010, Cambalache organized an important fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Karl in Veracruz, thus strengthening decades of social and cultural exchange of the Chicano-Jarocho network. Cambalache’s educational mission involves demonstrations from elementary school to universities, museums and music festivals.


Artist links: Website  |  Facebook

Areas of representation: Worldwide

Biography

Cambalache, meaning exchange, is a Chicano-Jarocho group based in East Los Angeles. Founded in 2007 and led by César Castro (sonero, maestro and luthier from Veracruz, Mexico), Cambalache plays and promotes traditional son jarocho through performance, music workshops, and educational demonstrations. In the spirit of the fandango, a traditional celebration of music and dance, Cambalache engages its audience through participatory performances.

In 2010, Cambalache organized an important fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Karl in Veracruz, thus strengthening decades of social and cultural exchange of the Chicano-Jarocho network. Cambalache’s educational mission involves demonstrations from elementary school to universities, museums and music festivals. The music of Cambalache was featured on August 7, 2011 on NPR’s All Things Considered stating, “Son Jarocho has been popular in Los Angeles, going back to the 1950s with Ritchie Valens, then Los Lobos. Today, it’s a part of the regular soundtrack of Latino music in East L.A.”


Band Members:

César Castro, a uniquely well-rounded sonero, maestro and luthier (instrument maker) from Veracruz, México. Castro began studying son jarocho at the age of 13 with renowned harpist, Andrés Alfonso Vergara in Veracruz. Soon thereafter, he proceeded to study with Gilberto Gutiérrez and was invited to formally join Grupo Mono Blanco, the corner stone group of El Movimiento Jaranero, at the age of 15. With Gutiérrez and Mono Blanco, Castro’s education was not limited to the music. It was his mentorship with Gutiérrez that rounded out his education in instrument making and teaching pedagogy. However, as a musical participant, Castro learned the great importance of sharing a tradition, community engagement, and creating active citizenry through the son jarocho and fandango. To date, Castro is the only Jarocho sonero residing in the U.S. who teaches the music and tradition in formal and casual settings, traditional luthier, and performer. He is a valuable culture bearer and asset to the Chicano-Jarocho family he has helped build over the last twelve years. He has participated in groups like Quetzal, Ozomatli, Son de Madera, Dan Zane and Zocalo Zue (which was a son jarocho and son cubano hybrid).

Xochi Flores began studying son jarocho in 2001 under the auspices of Maestro Cesar Castro, and teachers Quetzal Flores and Russell Rodriguez in Los Angeles, SHe is co founder of fandango sin fronteras, the bi national dialogue between Jarochos in Veracruz and Chicanos in Los Angeles. She has played with other groups in Los Angeles, like Candela, Las No Que No and has collaborated on projects with Ozomatli and Quetzal, Laura Rebolloso and Entre Mujeres.

Juan Perez is the Chicano bass player who has played with every band in LA from Los Lobos, Ozomatli Quetzal and now with Cambalache. Juan has studied bass for over 25 years and is considered the US most knowledgeable bass player in the son jarocho and Chicano music genres. He was also named one of Boyle Heights Community Treasures by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts.

Chuy Sandoval studied classical guitar in college and upon his graduation bagan studying jarana and son jarocho with maestro Cesar Castro. Three years into his apprenticeship, Chuy was integrated into Cambalache and has since been one of LA’s best jaraneros. Chuy also teaches jarana now at local community centers in Los ANgeles and the San Fernando Valley.

Tour Dates

Future Tour Dates

View Tour History

Tour History

Return to Future Tour Dates

2017
Apr 6, 2017 Venue Info
Arlington, VA USA Rosslyn Spectrum Theater
7:30 PM  
Mar 4, 2017 Venue Info
Whittier, CA USA Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts-Whittier College
Time TBD  
2016
Sep 24, 2016 Venue Info
Berkeley, CA USA La Pena Cultural Center
8:00 PM  
Sep 23, 2016 Venue Info
Quincy, CA USA Town Hall Theater
Time TBD  
Sep 22, 2016 Venue Info
Quincy, CA USA Town Hall Theater
7:00 PM  
Sep 21, 2016 Venue Info
Quincy, CA USA Town Hall Theater
Time TBD  
Aug 6, 2016 Venue Info
Hollywood, CA USA Ford Theatre
10:00AM  
Jan 23, 2016 Venue Info
Whittier, CA USA Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts-Whittier College
Time TBD  
Jan 18, 2016 Venue Info
Brooklyn, NY USA Brooklyn Bowl
7:30PM  
2015
Sep 29, 2015 Venue Info
Los Angles, CA USA Royce Hall
10:30 AM  
Aug 22, 2015 Venue Info
San Francisco, CA USA Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
1:00PM  
Jul 26, 2015 Lowell Folk Festival Venue Info
Lowell, MA USA Downtown Lowell
Time TBD  
Jul 25, 2015 Lowell Folk Festival Venue Info
Lowell, MA USA Downtown Lowell
Time TBD  
Jul 24, 2015 Lowell Folk Festival Venue Info
Lowell, MA USA Downtown Lowell
Time TBD  
Jul 12, 2015 Montana Folk Festival Venue Info
Butte, MT USA MT Folk Festival site
Time TBD  
Jul 11, 2015 Montana Folk Festival Venue Info
Butte, MT USA MT Folk Festival site
Time TBD  
Jul 10, 2015 Montana Folk Festival Venue Info
Butte, MT USA MT Folk Festival site
Time TBD  
May 29, 2015  
Los Angeles, CA USA Union Station
4:00PM  
Apr 26, 2015 Festival International de Louisiane Venue Info
Lafayette, LA USA Downtown Stages and Venues
Time TBA  
Apr 25, 2015 Festival International de Louisiane Venue Info
Lafayette, LA USA Downtown Stages and Venues
Time TBA  
Apr 24, 2015 Festival International de Louisiane Venue Info
Lafayette, LA USA Downtown Stages and Venues
Time TBA  

Videos

News

  • Riot Artist APAP Showcases! ‪Looks like APAP is nearly upon us again! As in past years, we once again have some wonderful artists showcasing for you this year: DakhaBrakha, Emel Mathlouthi, Maarja Nuut, and Cambalache!
    Please join us on Saturday evening at the New York Hilton Midtown and on Monday night at the Brooklyn Bowl!

  • Monday night APAP 2016 showcase at Brooklyn Bowl In addition to our annual Saturday Hilton showcases, we are proud to announce our Monday night 2016 APAP Showcase at Brooklyn Bowl!
    Join us, Cambalache, Emel Mathlouthi, Maarja Nuut, DakhaBrakha, and The Battle of Santiago on Monday Jan 18, 2016. Doors open at 6pm. Show starts 7pm. Free w/ APAP badge. Dinner available.

Press

“Since its founding in 2010 by musician-luthier-educator César Castro, the group ‘Cambalache’ has strongly enriched the ‘son jarocho’ scene in Los Angeles. Now, with a second album titled “Constellation of Sounds”, rooted in the traditional music of Veracruz, Cambalache offers a fresh and exciting new approach to ‘son jarocho’ with electric power. The presence of the electric guitar could conjure up a reference to Ritchie Valens or even Los Lobos. But in their new album, Cambalache contributes with groundbreaking interpretations of traditional tunes such as “El Aguacero”, “El Butaquito” and “Tlingo Greengo” in a politicized version, with verses directly criticizing the gentrification treading over cities, mercilessly wiping out working-class neighborhoods.” — Betto Arcos, KPFK’s Global Village – NPR, PRI

Constelación de Sonidos is a feast of sonic memory, a reminder that the places and the sounds that unite us are more important than the issues that divide us… a statement of resilience, a tribute to the capacity to rewrite our historia and our futures, to create the sounds of home wherever we wish or must be. And to make it a home from which we can never be evicted.” – Huffington Post

Testimonials

 

“Cambalache delivered one of the best family programs I have ever booked. The musicianship was stellar and the way they included history, education and audience participation was smart, vibrant and most of all fun for all ages. These are professional artists who have heart and were a delight to work with.”

~Ilaan E. Mazzini, Program Manager, Artist Recruitment and Engagement, Ford Theatres, Los Angeles County Arts Commission

 

“Cambalache crafted an interactive family show for our family audiences that was beautiful and inclusive. Children flocked to the musicians as if they were family, and danced as if they were rockstars. The musicianship was world class”

Carolyn Palmer Elliott, Dir. of Programming at The Broad Stage, Los Angeles, CA

 

“Cambalache delivers a superb collection of canciones, at once
deeply soulful and culturally rich. This is so good!”

Louie Perez, member Los Lobos

Downloads/Media

Technical Riders:

Cambalache – Tech Rider (2015)
Cambalache – Stage Plot (2015)


Press Photos (high resolution):

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