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Jesse "Chuy" Varela

24 results
    Music,

    The Beat of a Different Drummer

    "I've had a lot of difficulties because of my character," septuagenarian Armando Peraza admits as he holds court at Cafe Bucci in San Mateo for a rare interview. "I wouldn't take anything from anybody!" Apt words coming from a guy…
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    Music,

    Lo Maximo

    When Los Super Elegantes played the Kilowatt a few months back, the bloodcurdling screams of frontwoman Milena Muzquiz could be heard halfway down the block. Inside, a capacity crowd was moshing wildly as Muzquiz did a perverted hat dance while…
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    Music,

    Recordings

    Les Thugs Strike (Sub Pop) Just because a culture's good at throwing rocks doesn't mean it will necessarily excel at playing rock. Considering that the French are, off and on, so talented at mass revolt, I'm surprised at how truly…
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    Music,

    Hear This

    Sergio Mendes As the Beatles and Motown blanketed the AM airwaves in the '60s, Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 broke onto the charts with a cool samba groove called "Mais Que Nada." An upbeat break from his jazzy bossa nova…
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    Calendar, Night&Day Piano Man

    Piano Man

    With his fifth album as a bandleader, Motherland, Panamanian pianist Danilo Pérez clearly displays the instrumental chops and melting-pot ethos that have made him a generational icon. Since his emergence in the mid-1980s with Dizzy Gillespie and Paquito D'Rivera, Pérez…
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    Music, Women  on Top

    Women on Top

    On a rainy night in late January three mostly female bands held a "Women in Salsa" summit at a packed La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley. Headlined by Texas transplant Marina Garza and her Orquesta D'Soul, the event was an…
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    Music,

    The Mission Valdes

    Believing that "music is the soul of peoples," as Cuban patriot Jose Marton once said, Chucho Valdes holds no bitterness toward the U.S. for the embargo that prevents him from traveling freely in this country. "Politics are politics," says the…
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    Music,

    Recordings

    Various Artists Offbeat (Red Hot) What if Beat Generation artists had access to the sampling and collage technologies today's hip- and trip-hop jazzbos enjoy? Imagine On the Road as an interactive CD-ROM, "Howl" as a video clip, Charlie Parker with…
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    Music,

    Hear This

    Tish Hinojosa/Flaco Jimenez/Dr. Loco and His Rockin' Jalapeno Band Texas Chicanos first heard accordions through German and Czech immigrant neighbors, who played polkas and schottisches. Intrigued by the funky squeeze-boxes, they learned the forms and instrumentation; the results evolved into…
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    Music,

    Ponche

    Los Van Van, Los Compas Maritime Hall Saturday, Jan. 18 With cries of "Viva Cuba," thousands packed Maritime Hall over two nights to greet the Cuban supergroup Los Van Van and savor a rare taste of Caribbean musical nirvana. (Their…
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    Music, Northern Exposure

    Northern Exposure

    Last year American television audiences got a taste of "Latin Alternative" music when the first Latin Grammies were broadcast nationally. Over several hours, viewers watched Colombian pop queen Shakira perform her tunes, Emilio and Gloria Estefan smile for the cameras,…
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    Calendar, Night&Day Doctor's Orders

    Doctor's Orders

    One of the key elements of funk is the pump of the trap drummer -- the steady pulse of syncopated energy that creates the almighty groove along with electric bass, guitar, and keyboards. In the Bay Area, we have a…
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    Music,

    The Book of Lists

    James Sullivan's Best Music, 1995 1. Insurgent Country/Twangcore/Cowpunk: Two of my favorite records of the year -- the Geraldine Fibbers' Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My Home and Tarnation's Gentle Creatures -- took white trashdom to new extremes. The…
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    Music,

    Angel Heart

    It's Saturday night at the Paradise Lounge, and Los Angelitos are gearing up for a set of "leftist-acid-Latin-funk." Members mill around the stage as lead vocalist Piero Ornelas walks in with a milk crate full of cassettes he says he…
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    Music,

    Hear This

    Chico O'Farrill Though rooted in the secular music of the Congolese, mambo was distinguished by modern Latin big bands (like that of Perez Prado) as a form where brass and sax riffs played against each other. Arrangers like Arturo "Chico"…
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    Music,

    Recordings

    Dirty Three Horse Stories (Touch and Go) Why Australian instrumentalists Dirty Three should have piqued the interest of higher-profile supporters and tourmates like Pavement, Sonic Youth, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Nick Cave, the Beastie Boys, Beck, and Rickie Lee…
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    Calendar, Night&Day Mambo Kings

    Mambo Kings

    What is mambo? In the '40s and '50s, it was the work of Perez Prado ("the king of the mambo"), Tito Rodriguez, and Tito Puente, who sparked an unprecedented wave of mambo fever. Their music had a heavy instrumental component…
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    Music, Cannonball

    Cannonball

    When bebop revolutionaries challenged the jazz status quo in the '40s, their melodic and harmonic ideas were considered musical anarchy. Despite being denounced by many critics, musicians, and listeners, players like Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Bud Powell eventually prevailed…
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    Music,

    This Is for La Raza

    "Vatos, cholos, call us what you will/ You say we are assassins, truly trained to kill/ It's in my blood to be an Aztec warrior/ To go to any extreme and hold no borders/ Chicano! And I'm brown and I'm…
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    Music,

    Pleasure of the Andes

    "There is no voice like it in the world today. It has a greater range than any female voice of concert or opera. It soars into the acoustic stratosphere, or it plumbs sub-contralto depths of pitch with equal ease. Such…
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    Music,

    Wammies 1996

    SF Weekly's Alternative Music Awards Saturday, November 16, 1996 7:30 p.m. at the Transmission Theater Celebration and Awards Ceremony hosted by M.I.R.V. Live performances by Jim Campilongo, Liar, and the Invisible Skratch Picklz Open-to-the-public Music Showcase starting at 10 p.m.…
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    Music,

    Hear This

    Tijuana No, Psychosomatic, Lodo y Asfalto Since its emergence in the early '80s, Spanish-language rock 'n' roll has fought its way from the streets of Mexico, Latin America, and Spain onto the pop charts. While bands like Mana and Cafe…
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    Calendar, Night&Day ¡Viva Mexico!

    ¡Viva Mexico!

    Historically, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Battle of Puebla, when a ragtag force of townsfolk and Mexican soldiers under the direction of Benito Juárez, the country's first indigenous president, held the French invasion of Napoleon III at bay in 1862.…
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    Calendar, Night&Day Heavy Hitters

    Heavy Hitters

    The Puerto Rican band Puya plays a blend of metallic salsa and powerhouse rock so good it doesn't matter what language it's in. The group fuses Spanglish rap vocals with sexy island rhythms, luring a large crossover audience of metalheads…
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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"

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