The month of March heralds the start of music festival season as bands from all over the state, country, and world head to Austin for SXSW. And a few smart promoters in Dallas are taking the opportunity to catch acts on their way south.
Victor “Chino” Rimach, owner-operator of Chasquis booking company is one of those promoters, and for the fifth year he’s putting together a one-night festival showcase called Indie Rock Latin America.
The event more than doubled in size since last year, with 10 bands and 2 DJs that will be spread across both the indoor and outdoor stages of Club Dada on March 11. Four of the bands are going to SXSW, and with sponsorships by Exotico Tequila and Latin Deli, it promises to be a large and memorable shindig.
Moody Fuqua, the creative director of Club Dada, says he’s happy to be hosting the event for Rimach again. They partnered on it last year when Fuqua was creative director of RBC.
“Victor and I have worked well together, so I’m happy he reached out again to me,” says Fuqua, who added that people can expect “amazingly talented rock ’n’ roll bands from Central and South America, and the Caribbean — definitely danceable and just a rad event.”
Despite the festival’s name, it isn’t geared exclusively toward a Latino demographic.
“The magic word is ‘crossover.’ It's something that a lot of people in Dallas, like the guys from Transmission booking agency, are trying to do,” Rimach says. “I’m not just working for the Latino people. This is curated for the crossover demographic — the people from 20 to 45 years old who are interested in alternative options but not your typical Latino rock, which is sometimes pretty stereotypical — I’m trying to get rid of that label.”
And to that end, Rimach has included bands with styles that run the gamut — like NÓMADE, the new solo project by the Effinay’s guitarist, Alexander Rivera De Jesús, who’s bringing a reggae and Bachata-influenced sound. Or Monte Espina, an experimental act whose frontman Ernesto Montiel moved to Dallas from Venezuela only a year ago.
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Dallas mainstays will also be holding it down, like the SuperSonic Lips, who were named the best Latin band at the 2016 Dallas Observer Music Awards, and the ska-influenced FOCO de Atelier, which regularly opens for large-name Latin touring bands at Trees and the Bomb Factory.
In addition to putting the whole thing together, Rimach will also being playing with his band, MAYTA, a groovy rock outfit he formed in 2003 with his brothers Renato and Ivan after they moved to Dallas from Peru as teenagers.
As far as the touring acts, Rimach says he’s especially excited about the headliner Boogarins from Brazil, which has a psychedelic surf-rock sound with Tropicália influences. “I love the sounds of their guitars, it’s beautiful,” Rimach says. And he’s also looking forward to the Chilean band Humboldt, a rock ’n’ roll group but with a “very unique sound” according to Rimach. “They’re very polished and their videos are well produced.”
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It’s a wonder how he finds all of these international bands to bring to Dallas, but Rimach says the international booking community for Latin acts is pretty small, and he’s well connected, having been booking shows in Dallas for almost 10 years.
In fact, it’s his full-time job at Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff where he’s the operations manager. Rimach has a major hand in curating the solid musical performances that grace the unique bookstore-coffeeshop-venue. His full time gig keeps him involved enough that he slowed down on booking shows elsewhere — aside from partnering with his long-standing clients for special events, providing acts that range from jazz, to soul, to R&B and Latin. But for the small handful of shows he’s throwing each year, like this festival, he’s pulling out all the stops.
“I’ve put a lot of time and effort into making it bigger and louder,” says Rimach. “The main idea is to open the minds of people. In Lima and Mexico City, there’s no such thing as a ‘Latino band.’ There’s a lot of bands that have a lot of influence from the States, and they make a fusion of music that isn’t your typical Latino label. … Latin America is so complex, and it’s so mixed. It’s not your stereotypical culture.”