Todo Mundo brings world sound to Strings
October 13, 2016
If you go:
What: Todo Mundo performs at Strings
When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14
Where: Strings Music Festival, 900 Strings Road
Steamboat Springs — Todo Mundo, a Latin-reggae-world fusion band that performs songs in four different languages, is comprised of members from multiple time zones and hemispheres and aims to connect humans across the globe. On Friday, the band grooves on over to play on the dot on the globe that is Steamboat Springs, beginning at 7 p.m. at Strings Music Festival.
The band has played in Steamboat twice before, but its soulful sound and upbeat, energetic rhythms are forever fresh — a blend of reggae, Spanish rumba, Brazilian, Balkan and Middle Eastern styles. This time around, the band features a more electronic tone, as well as several new members.
Drummer Lisa Viegas hails from Canada, with roots from India, rock and blues. Guitarist Pedro is Italian and from Brazil, and has a background in reggae. Trombonist Jeff Hodson plays with reggae bands in San Diego. Saxophonist John Leeah is from Texas, is from tunes of blues, jazz and country.
Veteran members include bassist Stephen Gentillalli and Todo Mundo's founder, Santiago Orozco, on lead vocals and guitar. Orozco grew up in Colombia and has been interested in music as a singer-songwriter and guitarist since he was about 13.
The roots of Orozco's band can be traced back to when he was traveling in 2006, backpacking through South America.
"My guitar always, always came with me," he recalls.
Other musicians — locals and other travelers — would pick up their instruments and join in.
"Playing music with from people from around the world — we didn't even speak the same language, but I thought, 'Man, they're the same as me,'" Orozco said. "That moved something inside of me."
He formed a world-music band in Argentina in 2008, but when Orozco moved to the U.S., many of his band members' visas weren't working out. So he started a new group from scratch, this time playing in the farmers markets of San Diego.
Even with a separate group of musicians in a separate country, the messages Orozco played remained the same. Themes of unity and diversity sing through each song.
"Even in the small things, we separate from each other. We criticize each other because they're different in clothes, personality, whatever," Orozco said. "So it's really beautiful when you use music as an instrument to say, 'Hey, you know what? We're different, but try to try something new. Try to not criticize; try to feel present.'"
Since the first farmers markets, the band has shimmied through three years of touring across North America and rocked its way to honors including two "Best World Music" band awards at the San Diego Music Awards and an award from San Diego's Human Relation Commission for spreading diversity by music.
"Every year is something different, it's a different crisis in the world," Orozco said. "But our message is always gonna be there.
"The only way to change humanity is to start from us, from each of us,” Orozco continued. “Before we make some words about it and change our friends, we first have to change ourselves."
Orozco and his crew are looking forward to the show.
"It will be like a fun party," he said.
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