About Chicha Libre
Started in 2006, the Brooklyn band is made up of musicians from France, Mexico, Venezuela and the US who have been at the forefront of a global movement to revalorize Chicha - psychedelic cumbia from Peru.
Chicha was first popularized outside of Peru by a compilation released by Chicha Libre's own Olivier Conan and entitled "The Roots of Chicha." The music proved popular around the world, being championed by people such as Elijah Wood, Matt Groening, Alex Kapranos (of Franz Ferdinand) or director Almadovar, who included one of the tracks as the opening track of his movie I’m So Excited.
Chicha Libre started out as a tribute to Peruvian pioneers but quickly evolved into an original project which MTV has called “one of the world's preeminent Tropical Psychedelic band”. Indeed, while they remain true to their Chicha roots, Chicha Libre's music has taken a definitely more psychedelic turn drawing more and more from its members' alternative background.
Like its mentors, Chicha Libre uses surf guitar, organ sounds and Latin percussion to play a mixture of borrowed and homegrown sounds – but its music is a freeform reinvention, not an exercise in nostalgia.
Synth sounds, treated guitars, French songs, classical music and pop debris from three continents contribute to Chicha Libre’s freeform approach to the tropical genre. The cumbia beats that form the basis of the music are both as inherent and as foreign to them as they were to the Shipibo Indians who first took up the electric guitar.
Chich Libre’s albums have been released worldwide on Barbès Records and Crammed Disc, including Sonido Amazonico and Canibalismo as well as a an EP of covers, Cuatro Tigres. Chicha Libre has proven particularly popular in Argentina, Chile and Mexico but the group has performed around the world, including Turkey, The UK, France, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Denmark, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Spain, the US, Mexico, Canada and, of course, Peru.
Chicha Libre has played with a number of their Peruvian heroes - in Los Angeles, with Jose Carballo, of Chacalon y la Nueva Crema fame, in Lima with Los Shapis and in Berlin with Ranil, the legendary cumbiero from Iquitos in his only ever concert outside of the Amazon.... They have also shared the stage with a number of their like-minded friends such as Frente Cumbiero, Dengue Fever, Grupo Fantasma as well as a Chicha Summit, started with their Autin friends Money Chicha.
Chicha Libre’s music has been featured on various TV shows and independent movies including Homeland, Weeds, The Path and The Michael J Fox show as well as an appearance on a Simpsons 20th anniversary special in which they were asked to play the Simpsons theme “chicha” style alongside the likes of Red Hot Chili Pepper and ZZ Top.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Chicha Libre is:
Joshua Camp – keyboards new and old, electric accordion
Karina Colis – timbales, percussion, vocals
Olivier Conan – cuatro, vocals
Nick Cudahy - bass
Vincent Douglas - guitar
Neil Ochoa – congas, percussion, vocals.