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Ritchie Valens Park Will Rock At Celebrating Words Festival PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rita M. Hollingsworth   
Thursday, 15 May 2014 01:26

Maya Jupiter

For those hoping to catch up on the latest in the Latin Indie music scene, ground zero this weekend will be the Celebrating Words Festival at Ritchie Valens Park in Pacoima.

Viento Callejero, the supergroup comprised of former La Santa Cecilia guitarist, Gloria Estrada, and bandmates Gabriel Villa of Chicano Batman and Federico Zuniga of the Grammy-nominated electrojarocho group Sistema Bomb, will perform their unique brand of urban cumbia from their new album.

True to their name - Viento Callejero can be translated as “wind street” – the trio serves as the musical rockbed with a rotating roster of stand-out singers including Martha Gonzales of Quetzal and Eddika Organista of El Haru Kuroi.

Though heavily steeped in cumbia rhythms, the band is anything but old school; they’ve taken classic cumbia numbers and put them through an “electrifier,” with the resulting resonance paying homage to the past while conjuring L.A.’s musical future. Why cumbia? As Estrada explains, it’s the crossroads where European, African, and indigenous influences meet, and “people just gravitate towards it; they can’t help but dance!”

Another popular recording artist who will be performing in Pacoima is Maya Jupiter, who in 2003 released her first album entitled 'Today' on the Mother Tongues label, the first ever dedicated solely to women in hip-hop.

A recent example of Jupiter’s unique blend of Hip Hop and World Music is on display in her new video, "That Ain’t Me," which was released on May 1, International Workers Day. (Link to video:

Born in Mexico to parents of Mexican and Turkish descent, Maya and her family immigrated to Melbourne when she was one, then settled in Sydney when she was four. Jupiter describes herself as an “Artivist (Artist/Activist) who uses music as a tool to create positive social change.”

Jupiter volunteers with Irvine-based Tiyya Foundation, a non-profit organization that assists in the settlement of refugees. Until recently, Jupiter was the show host on community internet radio station Radio Sombra called “Black Beans and Brown Rice Radio.”

In addition to Estrada and her band Viento Callejero, and the Hip Hop beats of Jupiter the Celebrating Words Festival will set the stage for Banda singer Ricardo Cerda, and singer-songwriter- musician Irene Diaz who music journalists from NPR’s Don Gonyea to Patrick O’Heffernan in Hollywood Progressive Magazine hail as an “incredibly talented rising star.”

Check out these and other offerings at the 9th Annual Celebrating Words Festival on the web at

Last Updated on Friday, 16 May 2014 20:04