“La Misa Negra promises a spirited, high-energy dance party with a vintage flair… In other words, get ready to dance.” – Sacramento News & Review
La Misa Negra (Black Mass or Black Ritual) is an 8-piece band from Oakland, California that plays a unique blend of 1950’s and 60’s style cumbia and high-energy, Afro-Colombian dance music. The symbolism behind their name pays tribute to the genre’s African roots and Caribbean heritage, and celebrates the spirit and ritual of dance. Powered by horn and accordion-driven riffs, a fierce rhythm section, and a vintage Colombian sound, La Misa Negra delivers an electrifying performance that explodes with infectious dance grooves and punk rock energy. Since their live debut in the fall of 2011, they have been dropping heavyweight cumbia, porro, and gaita – proving through dance and sweat that La Misa Negra is more than just a band. It’s a PARTY!
Founded by guitar and accordion player, Marco Polo Santiago, La Misa Negra consists of Diana Trujillo (lead vocals), Justin Chin (tenor sax, baritone sax), Morgan Nilsen (clarinet), Shane Cox (trumpet, trombone), Erich Huffaker (upright bass), Craig Miller (drums, percussion), and Elena de Troya (percussion).
On the strength of their wild and one-of-a-kind shows, La Misa Negra has gained a reputation as one of the most exciting live bands to emerge from the Bay Area in recent years, garnering a diverse fan base that transcends musical, cultural, and generational divides. After playing shows and festivals with a diverse list of artists that includes Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Wonder, Florence and the Machine, Lenny Kravitz, Arcade Fire, Thievery Corporation, George Clinton, Julieta Venegas, Ozomatli, Lila Downs, Budos Band, Ana Tijoux, and Bomba Estereo, La Misa Negra now releases their much anticipated debut album, Misa de Medianoche.
Consisting of ten tracks, Misa de Medianoche (Midnight Mass) is a journey across various styles of cumbia, porro, and gaita, beginning with a fast-paced, monster title track meant for a midnight voodoo dance. The cumbia kicks into mid-tempo groove with songs like the sensually hypnotic, “Por la Bahia”, the rootsy, accordion-laced “Cumbia Milagrosa”, and the album closer, “La Cumbia Cura”, which encourages listeners to leave their pills on the table and let the cumbia do the healing. By capturing the raw energy of their live shows and the classic Colombian sound they have become known for, Misa de Medianoche serves as the perfect introduction to anyone who has yet to witness what these Oakland cumbia peddlers can do with a cowbell and a crowd. Branded as “hella bailable” and guilty of fueling spontaneous dance parties, Misa de Medianoche invites the soon-to-be converted to dance at the altar of La Misa Negra.
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La Misa Negra’s fusion of Latin influences
By Alejandra Salazar
March 18, 2017