PANA! was a dream that began in 2004. Diego and Alejandro started the band with a few other high school students. When they graduated from high school, Diego and Alejandro met Gonzalo through mutual friends at the University of Connecticut’s Stamford branch. PANA! continued throughout their college years, and the band’s five members completed their first major song, “Se.” Some of the members, had commitment issues. Diego, Alejandro and Gonzalo, however, were extremely committed and wanted to further develop their music.
Diego, Alejandro and Gonzalo all played the guitar, and they were the only members who remained dedicated enough to continue the development of PANA!, its music, and its vision. Three guitar players could not do what PANA! wanted to accomplish, so changes were made. Diego remained at the guitar, Gonzalo took up the bass and vocals, and Alejandro became a vocalist and drummer for the band.
Once these new instruments were learned and mastered, the band had its first major gig on January of 2008, at La Hacienda in Stamford. PANA! was inspired by Latin Rock, and did many covers, contributing to the move back to Latin Rock within Stamford. PANA! had ideas about what kind of music they wanted to produce, a vision for what the music could do, and a chemistry that could not be put into words—only music. The scene in Stamford, however, did not appear ready for a band like PANA! Stamford tends to be dominated by cover bands, and lacked the kind of audience that desires the type of innovative sound PANA! is dedicated to.
Over the past year and a half, PANA! has performed shows and at festivals in Connecticut, New York, Massacusetts, and Florida including Telemundo and D’Antigua, in search of an audience ready to embrace their sound. In the process, they have made consistent improvements to their technique, and continued the development of their sound.
The band draws their inspiration from a multitude of different performers, from Santana to Sublime to Steve Vai and Bach. Diego, Alejandro and Gonzalo each contribute to the composition and lyrics of PANA!’s songs, and it is the concord of sounds, words and ideas that makes PANA! unique, edgy, creative and versatile.
PANA! is continually progressing as a group, and each of its members are also developing individually, giving the group a direction. Their personal endeavors and their joint determination as PANA! has inspired the group to create a PANA! movement toward a new, unconventional sound that has its foundation in the Latin Rock that first inspired them.
By Mallory Lotz