With more than 40 bands on four main stages, there is a lot to consider on the schedule for this weekend’s Gasparilla Music Festival (March 11-12). By now, you’ve probably picked out your favorites, and certainly there are other names on the schedule you would like to check out.
Let me add one to your list. Chances are, you’ve never seen or heard of this sextet, because they don’t get a lot of airplay on the radio and because their shows in the U.S. are usually limited to Miami, New York and Los Angeles.
We are talking about the Venezuelan band Los Amigos Invisibles. Their “El Paradise” tour will visit Tampa, Guatemala, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco, Guadalajara, and Mexico City, including a stop at Neon Desert Music Festival in El Paso in May.
To paraphrase a well-known truism:
THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A LOS AMIGOS INVISIBLES CONCERT.
Nothing. These six musicians are pure magic, playing disco funk, acid jazz, and rock, all dipped in their native Gozadera tradition with Latin flavors from all over. Los Amigos are: Mauricio Arcas, percussion; Julio Briceño, singer; Juan Manuel Roura, drums; and José Rafael Torres, bass. Two of the original members of the band are no longer with the group. Guesting with the band now are Daniel Saa, guitar, and Agustin Espina, keyboards.
Arcas and Roura form an amazing percussion team, pushing and driving the beat through every song. They are joined by the pulsing bass of Torres, who cannot stop himself from bouncing the entire set. And front man Briceño is so engaging, so sexy, so perfect to be the focal point for this incredible band.
Much of what they sing is in Spanish, which you may not understand, but you will absolutely know exactly what they are singing about. They have nine albums to their credit, beginning with 1995’s A Typical and Autoctonal Venezuelan Dance Band and including their brand new album El Paradise. There is also a superb live DVD available.
Los Amigos Invisibles have been to the Tampa area at least four times, the last at Gasparilla 2014. They play this Saturday at 7:15 on the Sykes Stage.
Be forewarned: You WILL dance your a$$ off! MusicFestNews will see you at Gasparilla Music Festival!
LOS AMIGOS INVISIBLES DISCOGRAPHY
A Typical and Autoctonal Venezuelan Dance Band (1995)
The New Sound of the Venezuelan Gozadera (1998)
Arepa 3000: A Venezuelan Journey into Space (2000)
The Venezuelan Zinga Son, Vol. 1 (2003)
Super Pop Venezuela (2005)
Super Pop Venezuela, Remixes (2008)
En una noche tan linda como ésta (2008 – DVD)
Not So Commercial (2011)
Repeat After Me (2013)
El Paradise (2017)