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Latin Alternative Band Las Cafeteras Takes On Race And Immigration

From left to right, David Flores, Leah Rose Gallegos, Daniel French, Denise C...

Credit: Rafa Cardenas

Above: From left to right, David Flores, Leah Rose Gallegos, Daniel French, Denise Carlos, Hector Flores and Jose Cano are pictured in this undated photo.

We're sorry. This audio clip is no longer available. A transcript has been made available.

Las Cafeteras

When: 7:30 p.m., Feb. 19

Where: California Center for the Arts, Escondido

Cost: $20-$35

It's a presidential election year and politics is everywhere. For a Los Angeles-based Latin alternative band, politics is personal and all over their lyrics.

Las Cafeteras blends Afro-Mexican rhythms with a message of social justice. They tackle issues such as race, immigration and civil rights.

Daniel French and Jose Cano of Las Cafeteras spoke on Tuesday to KPBS Midday Edition about their show Friday in Escondido.

“We take on a lot of topics that some people would say are political, but for us they are part of our stories," French said. "We’re less trying to make political statements and more telling the stories of where we come from and the experiences of our families — the experiences of women, or the experiences of being an immigrant in this country, or even the connections we see between black, brown, Asian, native. Really it’s just about how we grew up."

The band recently put its own spin on a traditional song called "Señor Presidente."

Las Cafeteras Performs "Señor Presidente"

Las Cafeteras performs "Señor Presidente" at The Sanctuary for Independent Media, Oct. 5, 2014.

"We were at a school recently in the Lake Tahoe area, and we asked students what they would do if they were president," French said. "And a student said he would deport — wait for it — Donald Trump. The crowd went wild. So it’s interesting to hear, even though Trump, for example, is a household name now, that doesn’t always mean he’s respected. And even if you agree with Donald Trump, I think what’s important about the music we’re writing is we’re just trying to inspire people to tell their story."

French continued with his political analysis: "No candidate is going to save us, or make your family better or help you deal with trauma in your life. It’s really about each person getting inspired to stand up and make a change."

KPBS technical director Emily Jankowski contributed to this report.


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