Barbès. If you didn’t know what you were looking for, there is a good chance you wouldn’t even notice it. Yet, on a weekly basis, Barbès showcases some of the hottest music from the international NYC-scene to a small, but often, packed crowds.
Last night, was no exception. In the back room, Chilean Cumbia-fusion outfit Chico Trujillo blasted their unique combination of varied Latin genres with animated fervor to an intimate crowd of roughly 75 people. At Barbes, there is no stage and the PA system is small, but as Chico Trujillo showed last night, a decent band can still get the entire place dancing and responding to the band’s call and responses. Beer was spilled, sweat dripped, a guy sat atop of his friend’s shoulders shaking a Chilean flag, shoulder rubbed against each other, people screamed, sang, yelled, and made-out. Does it get much better? The only thing missing is a proper photo of the mayhem. Sorry, we were all too busy dancing to remember.
Cumbia's popularity has been growing but how hot it actually gets remains to be seen. Last night at Barbès, though, it was definitely in full control.
Sample Chico Trujillo's first stateside LP, Chico de Oro, via Barbès Records.