Parranderos Latin Combo (Special to Juice)
Band’s goal: Prove that Iowa has good Latin music
Published on January 28th, 2014 | by Joe Lawler
Next month Parranderos Latin Combo will fly to Puerto Rico to record its first studio album with Grammy-winning producer Ramon Martinez. For five days straight they’ll spend 10 hours a day in the studio.
So why fly to Puerto Rico at all? Wouldn’t it be easier (and cheaper) to bring Martinez to Des Moines?
“Recording in Des Moines would be almost impossible,” said Parranderos percussionist Ryan Mullin. “There are 12 guys in the group, and it can get crazy trying to schedule and get everyone to focus. Everyone being in Puerto Rico will be good for us, because no one will be able to run home.”
So it’s less distracting in San Juan than in Des Moines. Try pitching that business trip to your boss.
What Parranderos needed was a deadline to create. They won’t be able to agonize for months over perfection or working on just the right overdub. They’ve done that before.
It will be a pricy trip. They are also bringing in three musicians from outside Des Moines, interpreters and photographers/videographers from DEFT. All together it will be a group of more than 20 people.
Some of the money is coming from a grant from the Iowa Arts Council, which goes to cover the fees for musicians in Parranderos. Members of the band have also been donating their fees from shows to help cover the cost. This week the band is also launching a Kickstarter to help cover mastering and other costs.
“No one has been paid since, like, November,” said singer/guitarist Fernando Aveiga, half jokingly. The musicians are donating their fees to help fund the trip.
Parranderos has been using its practice sessions and live gigs to hone its sound before heading into the studio. Before leaving, the band has a Friday show at Vaudeville Mews, a private gig Saturday, a Feb. 5 date at Star Bar and will perform Feb. 7 at the Science Center’s Mixology Night.
“We’ll be playing the entire CD live at those shows, so people will be able tell us if we were better in Iowa, or in Puerto Rico,” Mullin said.
Mullin and Aveiga hope that album will be ready for release to the public by the end of March. Then they plan to hit the road with Parranderos for shows around the Midwest. They want to build a reputation as a touring band and make it, so people aren’t surprised that great Latin music is being made in Iowa.
“Then the idea after that is to write another grant and make another album,” Mullin said.
Parranderos Latin Combo
When: 10 p.m. Friday
Where: Vaudeville Mews, 212 Fourth St.