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La Santa Cecilia returns to their home away from home

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

The sky is the limit: La Santa Cecilia makes its TCF debut.

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"The band LOVES San Antonio," writes Grammy-winning producer Sebastian Krys about La Santa Cecilia, the first band he signed for his label Rebeleon Entertainment. "It was the first city outside Los Angeles that they felt they really connected with fans, so it has a special place for them."

And San Antonio loves them. The band, with only three EPs to their credit, stole SA's heart with stirring 2011 performances at Boneshakers, The Mix, and the International Accordion Festival. Their musicianship, coupled with an electrifying mix of boleros, cumbias, norteñas, and rock (to name a few of the styles they delve into) plus the voice and charisma of singer La Marisoul have earned them a Latin Grammy nomination and a legion of illustrious fans like Elvis Costello (who invited Marisoul to sing with him at the Wiltern in Los Angeles), Los Lobos (who invited them to their first Cinco de Mayo festival), and Ozomatli.

Their last two EPs have been warmly received: 2010's Noche y citas peaked at number one on iTunes and Amazon Latin alternative charts, and 2012's El valor, released in March, peaked at number three in iTunes' Latin alt charts. But the band wants more.

"I think they understand that there's a world beyond L.A., and that there's a place for them there," said Krys, a four-time Grammy winner and nine-time Latin Grammy winner. "The EPs are just a primer. I've been really adamant about them writing more and better songs. Having a great live show and a charismatic singer isn't enough. So I've really tried to challenge them, and they've really stepped up."

For their Tejano Conjunto Festival debut, they'll share the stage with Houston's Nick Gaitán and The Umbrella Man and SA's Piñata Protest under the banner "New Directions in Conjunto Music." Truth be told, La Santa Cecilia is not conjunto band, but they know how to polka and they fit perfectly in the bill. Expect their usual non-stop energy, some songs from El valor, and a couple of surprises.

"We'll do an accordion version of U2's 'One' and will mix it up with some Ramón Ayala," percussionist Miguel Ramírez told the Current.

"They've written several album's worth of material and a lot of it is great," said Krys. "We'll record [a full-fledged] album but that doesn't mean that we'll release it all at once. We have to see what makes sense." •

New Directions in Conjunto Music with La Santa Cecilia, Nick Gaitán and The Umbrella Man (Houston), and Piñata Protest (SA)

Wed, May 16
$10 pre-sale, $15 at the door
7:30pm Nick Gaitán and the Umbrella Man
8:30pm Piñata Protest
9:30pm La Santa Cecilia
Guadalupe Theater
1301 Guadalupe
(210) 271-3151

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