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Frontera Bugalú at Global Fest
Saturday, September 21, 2019 / 7:30 pm EDT
If you could imagine a “sound” coming from the border town of El Paso, Texas, what would it be? You might hear traditional and regional Mexican music blaring out of many car windows as you made your way down I-10 and into historic Downtown.
But the sound created by the locals in the Southwest desert mostly ranges in various forms of popular music found on this side of the border. Enter Frontera Bugalú – a collaboration between accordionist/singer Kiko Rodriguez and keyboardist Joel Osvaldo, two longtime veterans of El Paso’s punk, rock and roots scene who wanted to reclaim a little bit of that latin music tradition that many El Pasoans seemingly forgot or left behind.
Founded in 2012 after Rodriguez’s musical project, Fuga! disbanded, Frontera Bugalú was a departure, not only for Rodriguez and Osvaldo, but for El Paso’s music scene itself. While Rodriguez’s and Osvaldo’s former projects were known throughout the Texas, New Mexico, California and Mexico for fusing a variety of American, Latin, and Caribbean influences, Frontera Bugalú was created to pay homage to the hybrid form of music that could only have been created along the long border that stretches from Brownsville to El Paso.
Frontera Bugalú’s mix of high-energy cumbia — a favorite among such vintage Texas artists like Fito Olivares and Rigo Tovar — blended flawlessly with other traditional Mexican and other Latin rhythms and has garnered them a loyal following in Texas, New Mexico and the rest of the Southwest. The group has opened for the likes of Calle 13, Santa Cecilia, Celso Pina, Los Lobos and many others.
Rodriguez and Osvaldo have recruited only the best musicians El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, have to offer. The ever evolving and rotating cast of singers and instrumentalists have produced two original studio albums and are currently working on a third. With a DIY work ethic born from the El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Mex., underground scene and its unique accordian-based music, Frontera Bugalú embodies the new sound of the border, one that embraces both vibrant sides of the Rio Grande and beyond.