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Orkesta Mendoza

Strong Calexico-link / Top 10 Latin Albums 2016–Rolling Stone Magazine / Glitterbeat release / Womex 2014 / SXSW / Globalfest 2014 / APAP 2017 / Age-difference youngest and oldest member = 47!

About the Band

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“Orkesta Mendoza is one of the best live bands out there. Their music delves into a myriad of directions, rhythms and moods, big band orchestrations mixed with lo-fi electronica, vocals en Español together with moving instrumentals. ‘‘Vamos a Guarachar’ is epic and soulful, it captures that positive spirit of the Southwest”—Joey Burns, Calexico


Born in Nogales, Arizona, raised in Nogales, Sonora, multi-instrumentalist and band-leader Sergio Mendoza grew up listening to the Mexican regional styles jostling for headspace in a young, music-mad mind—cumbia mainly, but mambo, rancheras and mariachi too. The border is always a fierce arena of exchange, both commercial and cultural, and so there was American music too.


At one point ‘rock and roll, the classics’, as Mendoza himself deadpans, seemed to win out and he stopped playing those ‘Latin styles’ for a good decade and a half. The return to those sounds was a strong one in 2012’s Mambo Mexicano, co-produced by Mendozaand Joey Burns of Calexico—a band for which Mendoza has become an increasingly integral touringand recording member. While that record had a studied air, tentative in parts, ¡Vamos A Guarachar! is another beast entirely: by turns raucous, tender and plain serious fun, it also bears a robust electronic edge, a keen pop sensibility and all the hallmarks of Mendoza’s love of 60s rock, with the closing track sure to be included if anyone decides to update the Nuggets collection for the 21st century. This is round about way of saying that it appears to have everything, but never too much of anything. Focused, fierce and beautifully executed by a superbly drilled set of musicians, it is a record that fully matches the band’s explosive live performances.

“Orkesta Mendoza's exceptional ¡Vamos a Guarachar! boldly cuts through a myriad of Latin styles with balls and virtuosity.”Rolling Stone Magazine


“Sergio Mendoza may be based in Tucson, but his inspiration comes from south of a border that is not blocked by any walls … There is impressive variety in his exuberant approach.”—The Guardian (****)


“Orkesta Mendoza play a sunny-side-up mix of cumbia, mambo, indie and electronica … twangy guitars, tinny key- board, thumping rhythms and an overriding sense of fun, but with a more varied and imaginative approach [than the new wave exponents of Peruvian chicha]. There’s room in here for spikier rockier tunes, some greasy sax, even an entertainingly melodramatic ballad. If you think Latin American music tends towards the formulaic, try this out for size.”—fRoots


Visit for more information and tourdates. Gri Gri Music represents Orkesta Mendoza worldwide as manager and booking agent.


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