Las Cafeteras: Political Folk for the Soul

Air date: 4/30/2018
Read the transcript of the episode: 051618 intersections with Las Cafeteras


Las Cafeteras, the Chicano band from LA, and what I like to think of as unapologetic political folk music for the soul! Each of the band-membThey brilliantly mix traditional son jarocho with contemporary issues. Las Cafeteras hail from the Zapatista-inspired EastSide Cafe in East LA. Their first album, It’s Time, treats us to a contemporary take on son jarocho, while their latest album, Tastes Like LA, incorporates more styles and “tastes” of other music.

Last year, on inauguration day, they released the video for If I Was President, which went viral. They’re not just a rock band with an incredible performance and complex musical layers; they’re educators, social workers, academics, and organizers who care deeply about the communities centered in their music. And as son jarocho’s roots are Afro-Mexican, they pay homage to Black Lives Matter including the victims’ names in their lyrics.

While they were giving a workshop at Portland State University, they also joined me in studio at KBOO Community Radio, for thought-provoking conversation and great music. A short version of this interview aired on KBOO for the April 30, 2018 episode of Intersections Radio but I’m posting the full interview! Check out the podcast and the videos! (And forgive the technical issues!)

If I was President

El Zapateado