Las Cafeteras: Beats That Bring Down Walls

With the escalation of electoral politics, racial tension and the debate over immigration reform amongst presidential candidates, Las Cafeteras unapologetically bring a bold sound to provoke thought and encourage debates on and off the dance floor. With a message of love and unity, countering hateful rhetoric from political characters like Donald Trump, they’re taking their music straight to the heart of America spreading a message of unity, solidarity and celebration. “Donald Trump says he wants to build a wall, Las Cafeteras want to build bridges,” says Denise Carlos, on their press release. 

The socially conscious band, considered hometown heroes for East L.A. Chicanos, send their message of justice holding workshops about the issues they sing about: racism, gender inequality and cultural oppression, to name a few. Nevertheless, internal conflicts flourished last year after a former band member alleged the men in the band of misogynist behavior. Even with last year’s controversy, Las Cafeteras still try to push forward. 

The band remixes traditional music and instruments, reflecting not only the changing face of America and its musical landscape. They add Afro-Caribbean marimbol and cajón, poetry in English and Spanglish, and instruments like jarana, requinto, a donkey jawbone and a wooden platform called the tarima. As modern-day storytellers, Las Cafeteras are changing the way Mexican, and American music, is heard, played and experienced. 

Recently, I sat down and had a quick chat with Leah Gallegos, lead singer of the band. 

- See more at:

Leave a comment

Add comment