Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Los Callejeros

Los Callejeros takes you on a musical journey through the world. Their music is not limited to one genre, but is a mix of several styles like reggae, cumbia, salsa, gipsy and ska. With unique instruments such as the Cuban Tres, an accordeon Vallenato, a Peruvian cajon and a charango, they make every audience dance. During their travels through South America they were inspired by everything and everyone who crossed their path. 'El Camino es el Destino' is the surprising result. After a few musical years abroad, Los Callejeros decided to reside next summer in Europe. Their live performance is known as a heartwarming musical surprise. An experience for young and old to enjoy.A decent translation for the concept “callejero” doesn't exist. Calle is the Spanish word for street and 'callejero' is something related to streetlife. For this there are 'musicos callejeros' (street musicians), 'perros callejeros' (street dogs), etc. Often it gets a negative connotation, but within the project of Los Callejeros it's considered a very valuable word. It reflects the pure, sincere humanity that proceeds out of naive and spontaneous encounters. “The street is the place where people meet each other and can connect without really knowing each other”, according to Ben, singer of Los Callejeros. “You never know in advance what is going to cross your path, but you do know something is going to cross it.” Los Callejeros live according to a philosophy without boundaries. It's a type of simplicity that can lead to enchantment.

Like often in life, Los Callejeros thank their existence to some beers in a local bar in Leuven (Belgium). When Frank, Benji and Peter met this way in 2005, spontaneous jam sessions, some shared dreams and a series of coincidental encounters led to Los Callejeros. They were three creative personalities who found each other. Frank's musical roots, Benji's directing skills and Peter's audiovisual knowledge led to the musical documentary 'Cara O Moneda', which they recorded in Cuba. Cara O Moneda became a travel report based on spontaneous meetings between musicians and interviews about universal topics like love and happiness. Cara O Moneda immediately got selected for 'Docville 2006', an international documentary festival.

To realize this documentary, Los Callejeros collaborated with Ampara Sanchez (Amparanoïa), Omar Perry (Lee Scratch Perry's son) and many other musical globetrotters. Cara O Moneda was shown at different festivals and cultural centers. The project quickly gained the attention of some professional musicians which filled Benji, Peter and Frank with energy to do more gigs. Jef Gravez, Christophe Millet and Wouter Haest joined the project and the band Los Callejeros was born.

In July 2008 their first CD 'El Camino es el Destino' was released. It became a melting pot of songs that they gathered on their journeys and new songs out of collaborations with other guests musicians. At the end of 2008 the Los Callejeros went to Peru to record their latest docu-clip 'Mas Corazon'. This also became the new summer tour's take off. Since then, Los Callejeros has been playing at the Colora Festival, Feest in't Park, Rootstock, Club Depot, Fiesta Mundial and many other places.

During those concerts they were accompanied by David Vertongen (The Ball Room Quarted, Neeka, Anton Walgrave) and Sam Versweyveld (Buscemi, Jaune Toujours). Together with these musicians Los Callejeros currently works on a new CD which will be released in January 2011. This CD will be a mix of unreleased songs from their last journeys and new material inspired by their recent street concerts.
Los Callejeros are:
Ben De Wandel
Frank Mercado Avalos
Peter Morris
Jef Gravez
Christophe Millet
Wouter Haest
Sam Versweyveld
David Vertongen

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