By Reed Johnson
February 10, 2013, 4:50 p.m.
Quetzal, the L.A. band that weaves together funk, rock and regional Mexican folk-music varietals such as son jarocho, has won the Grammy for Latin rock, urban or alternative album.
Quetzal won for its release “Imaginaries” (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings), a characteristically ambitious foray into cumbia, neo-’80s-style R&B, Cuban charanga and Brazilian pandeiro, charged with the band’s collectivist political passion. It is the band’s first Grammy.
Quetzal was one of a number of L.A. bands to emerge from the cultural trial-by-fire of L.A.’s 1992 riots, along with such other Chicano fusionists as Ozomatli, Lysa Flores and Aztlan Underground.
In an interview with The Times last year, band co-founder Quetzal Flores re-affirmed the band’s continuing commitment to using music as a tool for building, and re-building, community.
“This band functions as a core unit but it also functions as a family. And everybody in the band past and present is still a part of our family,” said Flores, the son of farmworker-organizer social activists.