Band of the Hour: Bachaco

What do leafcutter ants found in the Amazon rainforest have in common with a hot six-member Latin alternative reggae band from Miami? Let’s just say it’s all in the name. Venezuelan Indians use the ant to create a picante or hot sauce. Bachaco (BAH-SHA-KO) like to consider themselves a musical picante comprised of hard working members.

A groovy clash of nationalities with members hailing from all over the Caribbean and South America, Bachaco is an attractive and motley crew: Eddy Morillo (vocals and cuatro, a four string guitar); Jose Morillo (vocals and bass); Domingo Medina (drums); Mathew Jacquette (vocals and guitar); Bruce McKinnon (vocals and trumpet); and Alejandro Hernandez (guitar). “Each member has influences coming from all over the place, from rock to reggae, from folk to hip-hop, and so on. “The combinations are endless,” says Eddy, who founded the group a little over a year ago.

“Having a Colombian member, a Jamaican member and three Venezuelan members, and performing along with other guest members from Cuba and other places, gives us the ability to create a very diverse and rich musical experience,” says Eddy. “Bruce has been influenced by genres like the Colombian Cumbia and even hip-hop in English due to the fact that he was born in the USA, so he plays the trumpet like a Colombian and raps like an American! Matt also helps out in the vocals doing his Jamaican Raggamuffin, an original Jamaican Rap style.”

Songs like “Cumbia Pa’ La Nena” and “Jamaican Cumbia” are infectious. They immediately make you want to get up and dance. In “El Inmigrante,” Bachaco sings about the struggles of a migrant father who leaves everything, including his family, behind to try to make a living amidst inhumane treatment. Another slower and more melancholy track, “La Muerte,” has had such an effect on listeners that at a recent concert they brought tears to the eyes of a fan.

Keep your eyes peeled for the release of their first album, scheduled for fall 2008. They’ve opened for Locos Por Juana, who are subsequently helping them put the album together. The band was even recently featured on MySpace’s Latino music section as Latin/Reggae Band of the Week. To be this good at the beginning of their career bodes well for the future of this picante sextet.

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Published: 9/08

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