hey came to the U.S. from cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a mixture of Latin rhythms, performed with Spanish guitars, a Cuban Tres, Peruvian cajn (box-drum) and harmonizing vocals.
Vivacious and infectious, the sound of Los Pinguos has claimed fans worldwide, from their hometown to the streets of Los Angeles, and now here to Bishop’s own 19th Annual Millpond Music Festival, Sept. 17-19.
With the honor of closing the Millpond Festival Sunday night, Los Pinguos will excite festival-goers and happily bring them to their feet. Saturday will also provide a rare opportunity to experience this amazing band in the close-up and informal workshop tent. Los Pinquos will also perform an assembly for an Inyo County school Friday, Sept. 17.
The story began in 1999 when Adrin Buono, Jos Agote, Juan Manzur, Juan Manuel Leguizamn and Enzo Buono formed the band to play in clubs, bars and private parties throughout Buenos Aires. Their exciting, passionate live shows garnered a devoted fan base, inspiring the talented ensemble to pursue global attention.
So they packed their bags and headed north to the Californian shores. Newly arrived to the City of Angels in early 2001, Los Pinguos began playing at local bars such as The Latin Lounge, The Knitting Factory, Key Club, Temple Bar and Little Temple. As their popularity grew, they were invited to perform at the end-of-season party for the hit ABC show “Dharma and Greg.”
It was when they started to perform for the crowds at Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade (a Los Angeles shopping/restaurant hot spot) that the band realized their potential to reach a wide and diverse audience.
While performing, they were spotted by a talent scout who urged them to audition for a new television show, “The Next Big Star,” hosted and produced by Ed McMahon of “Star Search” fame. In spite of fierce competition from more seasoned groups, and being the only Latin band to perform, Los Pinguos won the audience vote and rightly claimed the Grand Prize. Soon after this, new bassist Santiago (Fefe) Lee joined the group, giving Los Pinguos a strong backbone and groove to the music, new and old.
Since then, they have recorded five new albums: ”Camino Bueno” (2002); “Serenata” (2003); “Live In Los Angeles” (2005), a live double CD on Kufala Records; “Peripecias” (2006) and “California” (2008). They’ve played with such acts as Ozomatli, Yerba Buena, Charlie Zaa, Pablo Montero, Paul Anka, Plcido Domingo, Charly Garcia and famed Argentinean rockers Bersuit Vergarabat. They also appeared at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival with female songstress Suzanne Vega. Los Pinguos music has appeared in TV shows such as “The Shield” and “The L Word,” and is featured in the Antonio Banderas and Emma Thompson film “Imagining Argentina” as well as the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie. The band also participated in the award-winning documentary on street musicians entitled, “Playing for Change.” Most recently, they have appeared on three of the world famous Putumayo World Music compilations, “Baila!,” “Radio Latino” and “World Party.”
Currently the band can be found touring throughout the U.S. and beyond, including Mexico and Canada; most recently, they were invited to play at the renowned Blue Balls Music Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
For tickets or more information about the 2010 Millpond Music Festival, call Inyo Council for the Arts at (760) 873-8014 or see updates online at www.inyo.org .