¡Bomba! ready to blow up

By Jesse Keith

¡Bomba! may have formed in Edmonton, but its roots spread across the world, with members from Chile, Brazil, Cuba, and Edmonton, ¡Bomba! melds Latin and Canadian styles for a uniquely Albertan take on Latin music. Branching across salsa, songo, rumba, funk and jazz, ¡Bomba! throws a little bit of everything into the mix.

Mario Allende, ¡Bomba!’s drummer, was born in Chile but moved to Canada as a child. He describes the bands’ unconventional musical styling as "a combination of where we come from and where we live."

"As you grow up in Alberta you start trying to find your place musically with the music from your old country and the music your exposed to in this country," explains Allende. "You try to find your voice, try to find your way of presenting this music. It’s not that we’re setting out to play Cuban music or we’re setting out to play Brazilian music. We’re just setting out to play our music."

The members of ¡Bomba! are excited about their upcoming performance at the TD Canada Trust Jazz Festival on June 30, where they will open for the Aaron Neville Quintet at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. This will be ¡Bomba!’s first opportunity to play the Jack Singer, and they are looking to make the most of it with an energetic performance.

¡Bomba! is known for fiery live performances filled with lively dance rhythms. The band creates this energy by feeding off the enthusiasm of their audience. Every time ¡Bomba! takes the stage it is to "take advantage of the opportunity to play for people," says Allende. "We have a chance to communicate and share 45 minutes or an hour or a night with a group of people. That means involving them, and feeding off their energy, and them feeding off our energy. It’s a really special, sacred thing that we are lucky enough to be a part of, to get to play for an audience. It doesn’t matter if it’s ten people or a thousand."

Allende is excited about the upcoming Calgary show because of the excellent cohesion between the music of ¡Bomba! and that of the Aaron Neville Quintet.

"I’m quite sure the two musics will compliment each other well, because of the whole Caribbean/New Orleans thing," he explains. "There are many links there. There is a shared history between the two styles of music. They have developed on their own, but have come from a similar place."

¡Bomba! has been receiving positive hype lately, and are looking to impress in front of the Aaron Neville Quintet. This probably won’t be one of those openers where you stare at your watch. ¡Bomba!’s wide musical focus is sure to offer a little something for everyone.

As Allende puts it, "we want to show the world how Latin music manifests itself on the prairies."

¡Bomba! opens for Aaron Nevile Quintet on Wed., June 30 at Mac Hall. Tickets are $49.50 at Ticketmaster.

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