“We didn’t start music to go big,” said Rodolfo del Borño, the bass player for Chicano rock group Acteal. “We’d be lying to ourselves if we did, but if you put a group of musicians together in one place, something’s going to happen.” It did.
This group of San Diego natives has established a sound, in the past five years, that dips into pockets of ska, reggae, and rock, all tied together with the essence of Chicano power lyrics and fully fledged with a brass section that screams the way electric guitars do.
Today, they’re doing shows in Oakland, recording an album with Calaca Press (a Chicano literary press peeking into the music scene), and steadily making a name for themselves around town.
Acteal is comprised of a slew of conscious-minded Chicanos: lead singer and guitarist Esteban Cardoso, bassist Rudy Covarrubias, percussionist Octavio Villa, tenor saxophonist Frankie Martinez, and newest members, alto saxophonist Juan Gomez and seventeen year old trombonist Fabian Rangel.
The group name is in remembrance of the people who died in Acteal, a town in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas, where, in 1997, government-trained paramilitary troops gunned down 45 members of the local Mayan community.
They’re steadily paying their dues from gigs like the Adam’s Avenue Street Fair and Chicano Park Day, which have recently led them to mega venues like the House of Blues. Not surprising everywhere they go, Acteal has drawn a hysterical mob of Chicano punk rockers that attend shows loyally and usually make a swirling mosh pit where there used to be … well, not much.
This Friday, Jan 19, Acteal will be performing with Fuga and Hijos de la Malinche at the Arts & Entertainment Center (3026 University Ave). The show is part of an event series throughout January called Enero Zapatista. It’s organized by Colectiva Zapatista de San Diego. There will be an $8 cover and the show begins at 8 p.m.
The California Attorney General’s Office will be hosting a community forum on the controversial topic of the sale of National City’s 103 year old Paradise Valley Hospital. This will take place at the Holiday Inn (700 National City Blvd) on Thursday, Jan 25, at 1 p.m. The recent Healthcare Impact Report will be up for discussion. Residents wishing to present their opinion are asked to submit a request to Wendi A. Horwitz via email at email@example.com or by telephone at 213-897-2178.
Hola Latin Music Lovers! San Diego’s own Quinteto Caballero will be performing at Dizzy’s (344 7th St) in Downtown San Diego on Saturday, Jan 20, at 8:30 p.m. $10 cover. For more info, call 858-488-4200.
In honor of twelve years of Zapatismo, La Colectiva Zapatista de San Diego is hosting a month long series of events titled Enero Zapatista. At the Arts and Entertainment Center (3026 University Ave) tonight, Friday, Jan 19, San Diego roqueros Acteal will be performing at 8 p.m. At Chicano Perk Café (129 25th St) a Six Points discussion is set for Tuesday, Jan 23, and a short film Intergalatico will be screened with speakers on Thursday, Jan 25. Both events begin at 6:30 p.m. For info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does San Diego Need a New Prison in Your Neighborhood? Not only the question up for discussion, but the title of a community meeting to be held at the Malcolm X Library (5148 Market St) Wednesday, Jan 24, at 6 p.m. This event is sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance, NAACP, and California Prison Project. For info, call Margaret at 858-336-3685.
The Migrant Project is an in-depth photojournalistic journey, by Rick Nahmias, detailing the lives and struggles of today’s California migrant farm workers. Having traveled nearly 4,000 miles across the state of California , his work focuses on all aspects of the migrants’ story, including their personal lives. The exhibition is being held at Escondido’s California Center for the Arts (340 N. Escondido Blvd) through next Sunday, Jan 28. For details, call 760-839-4138.
Find out how to confront racial injustice against migrant workers every Wednesday at 7 p.m. with activist group, The Friends of Day Laborers. Meetings are held at Activist Center (4246 Wightman Street). For info, call 619-528-8383.
Spoken word every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Chicano Perk Café (129 25th St), hosted by dub music/spoken word artist Ras Pablo Aztlán. During January, this will be a series in association with Enero Zapatista, organized by Colectiva Zapatista. For more info, call 619-746-2559.
The monthly Chicano Park Steering Committee meeting is next Sunday, Jan 28, at 3 p.m. at the Paradise Senior Center (1880 Logan Ave) west of Chicano Park. This 36-year-old committee is a grassroots organization comprised of volunteers who work towards the development and expansion of Chicano Park and the Annual Chicano Park Day Celebration. If you’re down for this historic piece of nuestra tierra, come see how you can play a role in its survival. Meetings are every last Sunday of the month.