Todo Mundo brings Latin/world music sound to the Vilar for the Underground Sound Series
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What: Todo Mundo, world music artists, part of the Vilar Center’s annual Underground Sound series.
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12.
Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek.
Tickets: $20, or you can buy an Underground Sound pass for $100 for the remaining shows in the series.
Santiago Orozco founded Todo Mundo with lots of ideas in mind, but one is his favorite.
“If you talk to the people in the band, all they want is to make people dance. If we can make you forget your worries, we are doing a good job,” he said.
The reggae/Latin/world music acoustic group plays Beaver Creek’s Vilar Performing Arts Center on today as part of the annual Underground Sound Series.
Todo Mundo means “everybody together” or “all the world,” depending on who’s doing the translating, and bringing people together is what Orosco said the folks in the band love to do.
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Speaking of bringing people together, how Todo Mundo came together is something of a world-music tale itself.
Orozco is originally from Bogota, Colombia, and landed in San Diego in 2008. He tells the San Diego Reader he played on the streets, accompanied by a friend on hand drums. It taught him the ebbs and flows of performing — playing for three hours and making $1.
Still, people seemed to appreciate the music, and he was doing what he loved, so he decided to stay a while.
He wandered back to Argentina in 2009 and founded the band. He wanted to bring everyone to the United States, but no one had visas, so he returned to San Diego alone in 2010.
In San Diego, he got together with Jake Sibley on percussion and fellow Colombian Fabio Alejo on keys.
Melissa Mejia came to the band through a circuitous route. She’s a Latin jazz trumpeter who studied music at Oberlin College and became a San Diego police officer. Six months of training and a month on patrol taught her one thing: Police work was not for her.
She practiced trumpet in her car, so she wouldn’t disturb people in her apartment complex. She was cruising online classified ads and typed in “trumpet,” and learned that a Latin band was looking for a female trumpet player.
“For Todo Mundo, the street is the best school. In life, in music, the street is the best. You are naked there. People can think you are crazy. But it is there where you show what you are, just what you have. The street taught me a lot, and the most, most important thing: the connection with people,” Orozco said.
World Music best
Todo Mundo won for Best World Music at both the 2014 and 2015 San Diego Music Awards. That followed their 2011 win with the album “Organic Fire.”
Along the way, they recorded commercial jingles to help pay their bills. In 2012, they were one of five local artists asked to record a 60-second spot for “Movin’ and Groovin,’” a TV and radio ad campaign created and paid for by the Metro Transit System to get San Diegans to appreciate public transportation.
Speaking of transportation, they hit the road two years ago, touring with incredibly diverse acts ranging from Los Amigos Invisibles to Chris Isaak to Mike Love, of the Beach Boys, and El Gran Silencio.
The road has taken them all over the United States and Mexico, performing in both English and Spanish, blending Spanish rumba, reggae, samba, bossa nova and Balkan and Middle Eastern styles.
Not only does the music come from all over the world, so do the musicians.
Their latest album, “Conexion,” put them together with Grammy Award-winning engineer Alan Sanderson.
In February, they were among a handful of artists plucked from a pile of 7,000 entries who competed in National Public Radio’s Tiny Desk Concert Contest. and will be featured in NPR’s Alt.Latin podcasts.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.