Quetzal’s ‘Imaginaries’ wins Latin alternative Grammy, from the L.A. Times

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.

Musical group Quetzal poses backstage with its award for Latin rock, urban or alternative album for "Imaginaries" at the 55th Grammy Awards. (Matt Sayles / Invision / Associated Press)

Musical group Quetzal poses backstage with its award for Latin rock, urban or alternative album for “Imaginaries” at the 55th Grammy Awards. (Matt Sayles / Invision / Associated Press)

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About sesshu

The woman slapping tortilla shapes makes like the rain hitting the cement floor. I like the smell of charcoal smoke, rotting vegetables and sheet metal rust. I think about it when it's 100 degrees and I'm driving in the desert.

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