California WorldFest • Presented by The Center for the Arts

La Misa Negra

California WorldFest 2022 | Official Performer

La Misa Negra

La Misa Negra is a 7-piece band from Oakland, California, known for their unique  blend of cumbia and high-energy, Afro-Latin music. On stage, they deliver an  electrifying performance that explodes with infectious dance grooves and punk  rock energy, powered by horn and accordion-driven riffs, a fierce rhythm section,  and a vintage-inspired sound. 

Since their live debut in the fall of 2011, La Misa Negra has toured the country,  sharing stages and festival bills with the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie  Wonder, Lenny Kravitz, Thievery Corporation, SZA, Mon Laferte, Julieta  Venegas, Ana Tijoux, Bomba Estereo, George Clinton, Antibalas, Budos Band,  and Ozomatli. On the strength of their wild and one-of-a-kind shows, they have  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. 

Founded by composer, guitarist, and accordion player, Marco Polo Santiago, the  band consists of Colombian-born Diana Trujillo (lead vocals), Justin Chin (tenor &  baritone sax), Morgan Nilsen (tenor sax & clarinet), Craig Bravo (drums &  percussion), Elena de Troya (percussion), and Paul Martin Sounder (upright bass  & percussion). Together, the unlikely collective combines a wealth of musical  influences as diverse as their cultural backgrounds, but it’s Marco Polo’s affinity  for hip-hop and heavy metal that inspires much of the band’s sound and identity  – evident in their name, on-stage antics, and popular t-shirt designs. 

Now, four years after dropping their debut album, La Misa Negra returns with a  self-titled, sophomore effort that they’ve dubbed, “the red album.” Channeling  Colombia’s Golden Age, they dive into retro-future cumbia, with tracks like “Me  

Voy Pa’ Porce” and “Acosadora,” and tap deep into their Afro-Colombian  influences by incorporating traditional styles, such as currulao and tambora.  They showcase their love for Latin jazz on the monster Salsa tune, “Pistola,” and  their hyper-speed reimagining of the Cuban classic, “Yayabo.” They also allude  to their non-Latin influences, with instrumental tracks and samples that pay  homage to Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains, and Wu-Tang Clan. Finding common  ground between their heavy metal leanings and mambo-inspired horn lines, La  Misa Negra’s arrangements serve as the perfect delivery mechanism for both  their humorous storytelling and exploration of heavier subject matter, like gun  violence, water scarcity, and gender inequality. 

With their second release, the powerhouse septet unleashes 12 tracks that  capture the raw energy of their live shows and solidify them as a new force in  today’s Afro-Latin music scene.

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California WorldFest

An annual music festival that brings music from around the world to Grass Valley, California. We honor the land our festival is held on with our Global Indigenous Peoples Village. PLUS: Workshops & Yoga • Global Conscious Living • World Food & Artisan Market • Family Fun for All Ages • Buskers • Late Night Music • Parade & More!

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California WorldFest © 2022. California WorldFest is presented by The Center for the Arts, a cultural and educational organization that promotes and presents the literary, visual, & performing arts for the enrichment of our community.
Site Photography by John Taber, Marion Charlotte Photography, Ryuta Shimotomai, and Eye of Laksmi.

California WorldFest acknowledges the racial injustice of the past and present. We are committed to listening to BBIPOC voices and educating ourselves as we work together towards a future built on equality. We believe the arts foster unity and will continue to advocate for BBIPOC artists and community members. We see you, we hear you, we support you.