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Arizona's Sountrack

Orkesta Mendoza is an exceptional big band of mambo music. You have never seen anything like it. This band is one of the most interesting Latin music bands that is being led by charismatic Sergio Mendoza. This orchestra can sometimes have twenty members at the time. They creat noisy, turbulent mambo and cumbia music with a splash of intense shade of psychedelic. The sound of this band is unearthy and qualitatively. And these qualities had been noted by media like “New York Times”, NPR and others.

Orkesta Mendoza had a wonderful opportunity to appear in WOMEX world music conference that took place in Santiago de Compostela, Spain in 2014. They made an unforgettable impression to international speaker’s auditorium, media and to the other participants. Because of that they are the only band from the USA to perform in WOMEX twice. This time they will perform in Budapest in 2015.

Orkesta Mendoza was founded in 2009. Main members of the band are Sergio Mendoza (vocal, guitar and keyboards), Salvador Duran (vocal, maracas), Sean Rogers (bass), Jack Sterbis (timbales drums), Larry Lopez (drums), Marco Rosano (saxophone, accordion and keyboards), Joe Novelli (lap steel guitar). Also there are other members who join the band on stage on occasion.

They play variety of musical genres: a Mexican mambo, a psychedelic cumbia, ranchero (traditional Mexican music performed with a guitar), merengue (Latin-American dance music), rumba, jazz and indie-rock. This kind mixing of genres became favorite among fans of the band. It also made the band known outside of their hometown Tucson. The band recorded their debut album “Mambo Mexicano” in 2012. They began their tour in USA and Europe right after that.

The leader of the group is Sergio Mendoza. He was born in town Nogales, Sonoran state, Mexico. When he was eight years old he moved to live in the USA, Arizona. When he was eighteen he was living in Tucson. In 2009 he gathered few of the best towns’ musicians for performance dedicated for legendary mambo king from Cuba - Pérez Prado. Multi-instrumentalist Sergio Mendoza got his experience while playing with “Calexico”, “Devotchka”, “Mexican Institute of Sound” and others. He was joined by vocalist Salvador Duran who had sung with “Calexico”, Willie Nelson, “Iron and Wine”, Glen Hansard and others.

As a band, Orkesta Mendoza found inspiration from Pérez Prado and “Chico Che y La Crisis” to find the sound right for them. Sergio Mendoza called it "indie-mambo". It was new genre in music. This genre is synthesis of unearthly, different eras and regions music. Many elements of their music is traditional that came from Sonoran mariachi bands and hot Cuban mambo. But these elements aren’t historically correct that’s why every time band sounds different.

In this video

Sergio Mendoza
Salvador Duran
Sean Rogers
Jack Sterbis
Larry Lopez
Marco Rosano
Lap Steel Guitar
Joe Novelli
Behind Camera
Giedrius Dagys
Gintas Berzinskas
Dora Plataunaitė
Post Production
Gabriel Orentas
Dora Plataunaitė