Buyepongo: LA’s unique Afro-Cuban/ Cumbia/hip-hop/ funky dance band

Buyepongo is LA’s unique Latin/Afro-Cuban/Cumbia/hip-hop/funk dance ALM band. There is simply no one like them. Buyepongo came together initially as friends playing punk and hip hop music in high school. After the original group went their separate ways, co-founder  Edgar Modesto and a few friends embarked on a life-altering backpacking trip through Belize and Guatemala where they encountered Afro-Caribbean sounds of the region’s Garifuna culture. They took that and added the funk and flavor  of  L.A. to create a new style of music. The core members of Buyepongo (the name means “to cause a ruckus”)  came together shortly after Modesto’s return from that trip: multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Jorge “Yuka” Vallejo, bassist Randy Modesto(Edgar’s younger brother), and saxophonist Angel Hernandez. The band, which Vallejo says might be more accurately called a “tribe,”  remains fluid and recently added keyboardist Kris Castro and percussionist Larry Harvey. They have  shared the stage with bands from a diverse range of styles including Quantic, Ondatropica, Ozomatli, Booker T, Celso Piña, Os Mutantes, Sister Nancy, Dead Prez, Cut Chemist, Beatnuts, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Antibalas, and Punta Cartel to name a few.  Their new album, Todo Mundo, reflects this diversity  with its sonic explosion of blaring horns and syncopated accordion licks, booming bass lines , conga rhythms and melodious harmonies  that call up tropical images and infectious dance energies.

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