Cumbia Tokeson is a forward-thinking take on cumbia. The band fuses Peruvian chicha, rooted in 70’s guitar and psychedelia, mixing grooves of Colombian cumbia and rock with guitar-driven melodies, while adding reggae, funk, punk, and a touch of southern Mexico’s son jarocho. Definitely sweat-inducing dance music!
The band took shape in 2009 as two resident Bay Area groups began collaborating: Texan cumbia punk heroes Fuga and local cumbia band La Colectiva. Starting in the local underground scene, both bands would play everywhere from protest rallies and house parties to clubs. Jam sessions often arose after their individual gigs; the music created: an improvisational mix of cumbia and son jarocho. Out of such jams came a unified sound, and Cumbia Tokeson was born. The band recently released their first recording, Chuchos Vol. 1 which has been well received and can be increasingly heard on local independent radio stations as awareness of them continues to spread.
The members of Cumbia Tokeson represent a variety of Latin American cultures, which in turn has pushed them to create their own personal blend of cumbia, one that is not afraid to mix, mash, or challenge the status quo. Put best by Gozamos, (Chicago) “…Cumbia Tokeson plays dance music with a heart and a conscience.”
Cumbia Tokeson continues to build their fanbase, this past year having played with such artists as Celso Piña (Monterrey, Mexico), Bomba Estereo (Colombia), La Santa Cecilia (L.A.), Cumbia Machin (San Diego), Brwn Bflo, Pistolera (NY), Bang Data (S.F.) and Cafe Tacvba’s Ruben Albarrans new project Hoppo! In their short existence Cumbia Tokeson has already been invited to share their sound at such places as Viva! Chicago’s Latin Music Festival, Reventonazo (University of Madison), and Chalk the Block (Texas). Most recently they were invited to open for Ozomatli at The Fillmore in San Francisco and at Belly Up in San Diego, CA.