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This Week’s Playlist: Pachanga Fest

Nancy Flores

Editor’s note: This article was originally published May 8, 2014

Announcing the lineup for this year’s Pachanga Latino Music Festival, founder Rich Garza called the event, now in its seventh year, an “annual state of the union for Latin music.” With a wide range of talent, from Spanish radio regulars like Latin rock superstar Julieta Venegas and hot up-and-comer Gaby Moreno to more experimental acts like Mexican rock-fusion group El Gran Silencio and rapper Niña Dioz, Garza described the event’s lineup as “mainstream meets alternative with cumbia as kind of the bridge between the two.”

For the past several years, Pachanga Fest has programmed two days, with Friday night focused on a Spanish-dominant audience and Saturday’s day-long program folding in everyone else. This year the festival scaled back to one day while maintaining the broad appeal.

Now Garza’s excited to see how it all pans out. Anticipating “a very bicultural audience,” he’s looking forward to the convergence of Latin music fans at Fiesta Gardens, he said earlier this week. While noting extensive promotions on Latino 102.7 FM and public radio affiliate KUT 98.9 FM will draw different audiences, Garza thinks the diversity is a good thing. His goal was to “build the best day possible for as many people as possible,” he said. —Deborah Sengupta Stith

We chatted with Julieta Venegas, Gaby Moreno, Brown Sabbath and Del Castillo before this year’s festival.

Listen to all of this year’s Pachanga Fest bands:

Here’s a look at the other bands featured at the Pachanga Latino Music Festival:


There’s nothing more adorable than Colombian YouTube sensation DMK. This Depeche Mode cover band is made up of a father and his two talented children. If you’re ever stressed or in a bad mood, one of their videos should cheer you right up.

La Vida Bohéme

Get ready for a high-energy show from Venezuelan rockers La Vida Bohéme. Don’t be surprised if they show up on stage with paint-splattered outfits, their signature performance look. The rockers, who have performed at both the Austin City Limits Music Festival and South by Southwest, combine socially conscious lyrics with danceable rhythms.

El Gran Silencio

One of Mexico’s top rock bands, El Gran Silencio rose to fame in the 1990s during that country’s rock en español golden era. El Gran Silencio fuses rock with other sounds such as cumbia, hip hop and reggae. Throughout their long career, they’ve collaborated with other important Mexican artists such as accordionist Celso Piña, Café Tacvba and Control Machete.

Making Movies

Kansas City-based band Making Movies pushes musical boundaries with its blend of Afro-Latino and psychedelic fusion. Steve Berlin of Los Lobos produced Making Movies’ second album “A La Deriva.”

La Santa Cecilia

La Santa Cecilia got its start playing on Los Angeles’ historic Olvera Street. Since then, they’ve experienced a meteoric rise with their well-crafted songs that fuse Latin American sounds with contemporary rhythms. Their latest album “Treinta Días” received a Grammy earlier this year, and the win sparked cheers throughout the Mexican-American community.

AJ Davila y Terror Amor

Puerto Rican rock ‘n’ roll garage band AJ Davila y Terror Amor shows that Latin music doesn’t have to stay in a box. The band returns to Austin after playing at Fun Fun Fun Fest and SXSW.

Sonido San Francisco

Synthcumbia, anyone? Sonido San Francisco, a lively Mexican party band, fuses folkloric rhythms with synthesizer beats. These SXSW veterans return to Austin with their festive, danceable songs.

Niña Dioz

A much-buzzed about MC, Niña Dioz has broken through a male-dominated rap scene and is among a growing list of influential hip-hop artists who have come out of the Monterrey, Mexico, area such as Control Machete and Cartel de Santa.

Chica Libre

Peru’s chicha music — a hybrid sound popular in the 1960s and 1970s that blends Andean and cumbia rhythms, among others, with psychedelic effects — has experienced a global reawakening. Among the bands leading the nation’s chicha music is Brooklyn’s Chicha Libre. Last year, they performed at Austin’s first Chicha Summit along with local chica group Money Chicha.

— Nancy Flores

Pachanga Latino Music Festival

Doors at noon Saturday at Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse Segovia. Tickets are $33 plus fees in advance and a flat $45 at the gate Saturday for the all-ages event. Kids 12 and younger get in free with a ticketed adult.

Tickets and the schedule at