The band got started in 1991. They’ve visited over 60 countries, have won 1 Latin Grammy, have 7 studio albums, 1 live DVD+2CD, 1 record label, have been 20 years in the music business, and still have high hopes to continue to do what they love to do.
I had the great opportunity to interview Los Amigos in advance to their Toronto concert on June 25th at the Horseshoe Tavern. Here is what transpired…
HM: After 20 years, what is your approach to writing and producing new music?
José Rafael Torres (Catire): Life keeps inspiring us. There’re always situations waiting to be told. Also producing music is our passion, a calling, something you just got to do because without it you’re nothing.
HM: You’ve been living in New York City for some time, how does the city and its music scene impact your creativity?
Catire: At this moment we only have one member left in NY. We have 2 members in Miami, 2 in Caracas and one in Xalapa, Mexico. I lived in the city for 10 years and I can say the impact was huge. You just need to leave your apartment and walk for 15 minutes to find something that really inspires you whether this is a landscape, people, musicians, art, etc. Also being able to watch your idols behaving like regular humans had a big impact on me.
HM: You’re now working on a new album. What is some of the music you’re listening to that might influence Los Amigos’ sounds?
Catire: We’re such different guys. Don’t think we’re listening to many things in common lately and yet somehow we still manage to make an album. That’s what happens when you’ve been 20+ years together.
HM: 20 Años de Gozadera is your latest tour. What has been the response across the globe and what do you have in store for Toronto audiences?
Catire: It’s been great. The family (fans) keep growing and growing. The main reason we’re still in this business is because of the joy of being able to play in front of an audience that looks like it’s having a lot of fun. Toronto shouldn’t be the exception.
HM: Y por último, (para nosotros de habla hispana) nos podrían contar un poco acerca el documental “La Casa Del Ritmo“. ¿Cómo nació este proyecto y cómo les ha ido desde su estreno en Miami?
Catire: Fué la idea de un gran amigo que pensó que no muchas bandas latinoamericanas duran 20 años y menos lograr hacer una carrera desde Nueva York. Según él, esto podria ser el sueño de cualquier músico latinoamericano. Por ello la importancia de que la película se haya realizado durante nuestro 20 aniversario y de que se haya realizado en NY. La película no es tanto un documental sino lo que podría llamarse un “concert film”. La idea era grabar la experiencia de un concierto en NY y que los mismos miembros de la banda contaran su historia entre canción y canción. El estreno en Miami fué todo un éxito y la banda quedó bastante satisfecha con el trabajo.
*** This last question, in Spanish, was about the documentary “La Casa Del Ritmo,” which is a recording of one of their concerts in New York City. It premiered in Miami earlier this year and Catire explained it was a great success and that the band is truly happy with the project.
There you have it; an introduction to Los Amigos Invisibles for some of you and an update for others. Be sure to mark your calendars for their concert, part of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. Los Amigos Invisibles will be at Horseshoe Tavern onMonday, June 25 - 10pm. For more information on other artists appearing at the festival, visit torontojazz.com.