One of the most thrilling sets at Pickathon last summer was by Orkesta Mendoza, the Tucson, Arizona “Indie Mambo” band fronted by Sergio Mendoza. At the front of a stage packed side to side with musicians and instruments — guitars, percussion, stand-up base, accordion and a crush of brass — Mendoza and the group swerved from dapper dance music, cumbia, ranchera and conjunto, to lounge-flavored Latin rock and breakneck pieces like “Mario También Come.” This performance captured the band’s ecstatic top gear.
Mendoza’s genre-crossing music reflects his own upbringing on both sides of the border, in Nogales, Sonora, and Nogales, Arizona. He formed a group in 2009 to play a tribute to Cuban “Mambo King” Perez Prado, renamed it Orkesta Mendoza, and later toured with Calexico out of his current base in Tucson. Orkesta Mendoza’s latest record, ‘La Caminadora,’ was released in December.
Every month this year, opbmusic presents songs recorded live at the Pickathon Woods Stage. These videos are hand-picked by opbmusic to showcase some of the festival’s most exciting performances.