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Pistolera: Critically acclaimed New York band Pistolera has toured its accordion-driven dance songs in six different countries since its debut in 2005. Fans around the world are dancing cumbias to the group's socially conscious songs--en español--about immigrants' rights, war, racism, feminism, and life on the border. The band has shared the stage with Los Lobos, Lila Downs, and Vieux Farka Toure, to name a few, and has performed at high profiles festivals such as The Montreal Jazz Festival(Canada), Ollin Kan (Mexico), Central Park Summerstage (USA), and Sfinks (Belgium).
El Desierto y La Ciudad [The Desert and the City], the third studio album from NYC’s Pistolera is a bold and stunning departure for the band. Written in two opposite locations – but with equal balance – the album is a soundtrack for a journey between the peaceful laid-back spaces of the wide-open west and the urban grit of New York City.
El Desierto y La Ciudad, the third studio album by the highly regarded New York City–based Pistolera, represents a daring departure from the band’s previous releases—conceptually, musically, lyrically, and spiritually. Mexican-American band leader and songwriter Sandra Velasquez, whose previous two albums have slyly hinted at her full artistic vision, now displays the wide scope of her songwriting capabilities and a willingness to push her band’s sound beyond the dance floor. The CD was designed as a throwback to the days when albums were conceived of as complete works of art and appreciated in their entirety.
Nation Beat: Inspired by the Afro-Brazilian rhythms of maracatu, the foremost diasporic band of the Mangue Bit movement of Northeast Brazil, NATION BEAT has created an incredible, fresh new sound. Which nation, and which beat? What makes this group special is that it offers no simple answers. They are rhythm gatherers, harvesting the fruit of 500 years of cultural cross-breeding, which is why the sounds of the northeast of Brazil and the southern United States blend together so seamlessly; NPR music writer Banning Eyre calls them "the most original and alluring fusion group I have heard in years." In 2005, Nation Beat became the first North American group to collaborate and record with an authentic maracatu "nation," the legendary Estrela Brilhante of Recife led by Mestre Walter and rhythm master Jorge Martins.