Next Friday, Sept. 2, Portland band Y La Bamba releases its long-awaited fourth album, Ojos Del Sol. The record marks the return of one of the city’s most unique voices, Mexican-American folk artist Luz Elena Mendoza. Mendoza had disbanded Y La Bamba four years ago, turning instead to a variety of projects exploring her voice as a songwriter and arranger, and another rollicking and at times experimental band, Death Songs.

Last summer, Mendoza announced a new Y La Bamba recording, complete with visual art pieces to accompany the songs. There was also a concert on the rooftop of Revolution Hall, which we recorded in the falling light of a late August night almost a year ago. Since the band was in the process of recording and reworking these songs by day, the concert captured the band in the middle of creating its new record and in essence remaking itself, behind the charismatic voice and writing of Mendoza.



With light turning from sunset to dusk to darkness, we also ran past the ability of our cameras; the beautiful final song here, “Libre” was recorded in near-darkness with the city lights as a backdrop.

Y La Bamba returns to Revolution Hall (indoors in the main hall), for a Friday night concert (Aug. 26) with Haley Heynderickx and Orquestra Pacifico Tropical opening. Ojos Del Sol is out Sept. 2 on local label Tender Loving Empire.


Audio recording and mixes: Zack Carver-Gustin, Steven Kray
Videographers: Nate Sjol, Sam Smith, Jarratt Taylor
Editor: Nick Hennessy
Executive Producer: David Christensen