In Da House for Chico's Dad!

The cream of Chicano music fall out to honor Robert Manqueros

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: April 24, 2012

In Da House for Chico's Dad!

[1]?íUmm, umm, umm...mira mi gente que estabas mas de aquellas![/i]

That was the mood this past Sunday as one of the finest memorial musical tribute shows you could ever attend and party to happened right here in the Land of 1000 Dances at Nick's Taste of Texas in Covina, California

Lot's of good food and drinks, great atmosphere, some of the finest music talent in Aztlan, and a great crowd came together for a respectful cause as Nick's Taste of Texas joined up with Steven Chavez and his staff & DJs of East L.A. Revue Radio to honor the late Mr. Robert "Bob" Manqueros, father of popular Internet radio DJ Chico Manqueros .

East L.A. Revue DJ's in the house joining Steven Chavez besides me & Chico: EL CHINO, EL BETOMAN, EL SAPO, SUGARBEAR, and Mr. TOM MORIN of CHAVEZ BAY.

Guest DJ in da house spinnin' tunes: SFV's JOEY VASQUEZ.

I was honored to have been picked from amongst my brother East L.A. Revue Radio DJ's to serve as Host and Master of Ceremonies, and I gave it my best.

I only had the privilege of meeting Mr. Bob Manqueros once, but I came away with the impression of a loving, caring, Brown family man from East L.A. who was an inspiration to his son Erik, aka Chico, who is one of the baddest Latino music radio DJs in the Land...and for over 25 years, Chico has been the epitome of a father's inspiration through his promotion of beautiful music and support of the Arts here in Los Angeles...and I hope he gives us at least 25 more!

Starting off the show were TRIO DEL ALMA, made up of Mike Archuleta, Eddie Farias, Lorenzo Martinez and Jaime Horta, singing some of the sweetest Latino boleros you ever want to hear. As if in bittersweet and artistic irony, TRIO DEL ALMA brought some happy tears to the crowd as their touching and artistic performance reminded us all of the beauty and emotional clutch of the heart of true Brown cultura, and some of the music that defines us...while also reminding us of the cryptic romance in our mortality and legacy that comes to light when it's time for the end of every good ride...

...I gotta admit, I had watery eyes while munching my tacos & nachos as they did a couple of my late mother's favorites tunes....that's the power of the art of music, if you know what I mean...it can "warm you with a chill"....

Next up, as if in perfect timing to keep our romantic melancholy from setting in at the moment, comedian Armando Casio, one of the funniest Brown guys in L.A. today, came up and tickeled the Chicano funnybone like nobody's business, hitting that Brown nerve like he grew up next door to you in the 'hood, and is still a neighborhood [/i]compadre[/i] with all of us...while some people might not get that last one, suffice to say, he's the kind of vato you want to invite to your next bar-b-que...dude can make anybody laugh !

Next up, Valentina Estrada came up and sang some classic Oldies but Goodies tunes off her popular CD that got the crowd into that " Oh yea...now I remember!" mood...and it was on!

Coming up next, LOUIE MENDEZ brought up his powerful new group THE RECESSIONS, who opened up with a hot number of "Jump, jive, and harmonize" that had me & my lady up on the dance floor before our 2nd beer, joining JOHNNY HERNANDEZ & VALENTINA ESTRADA in tirando chancla muy de aquellas!

Man! Do I love music & dancing, especially when the music talent is good & hot, I'm at a good place dancing with my lady, and surrounded by friends and beautiful Brown people who feel the same way... living & loving life in the same manner!...this was truly a party for the big kids!

Showing their versatility & ability to move into change without skipping a beat, the RECESSIONS then jumped in head first with Tower of Power's classic 'This Time It's Real" that got everybody's attention and heads & shoulders moving.

The brass section was one of the very best on the West Coast today, comprised of current Thee Midniters & veteran TIERRA stars BOBBY NAVARETTE, BOBBY LOYA, and legendary LARRY RENDON, along with trombonist KEN TUSSING and trumpet player GEORGE PANDIS, you couldn't have had it better anywhere on the planet at the moment.

Along with bandleader Louie Mendez at lead vocals & guitar, Rick Reyes at bass guitar & standup bass, Jorge Corona on drums, and David Torres on keyboards, the RECESSIONS are a "wow" assemblage of music veterans who "know their stuff" to please a crowd...and you're going to start hearing more about them ... you can quote me!

After a few [i[chancla[/i] stompin' numbers, the Recessions (as only a truly talented and experienced music band of pros can do at the drop of french fry) called up a succession of musical guest stars & singers that made you glad to be here in the Land of 1000 Dances.

Joining in on vibraphone, the West Coast King of Latin Soul, BOB DeSENA
(aka " Mr. Magnificent " ) came up and 'wowed" the audience with his 100 miles a second hands in some hot Latin Soul tunes that brought back memories of Cal Tjader & Tito Puente. Bob then stayed on with the band and spiced up tunes from Latin Soul, Rancheras, Cumbias to Rock & Roll Oldies with some fancy, never before heard accompaniments and solos.

You know it's all good when a world class musician & entertainer like Bob DeSena can jump off the stage between songs to catch some air and yell out "Damn, I'm having a good time!"... then jump back on for the next song.

West Coast Latin Soul music is just not complete without the likes of performers like PARIS ESCOVEDO at timbales & AUGIE ROMAN at congas...and here they were, partying and jamming for the people. He gave us some impressive solos that had heads turning.

Chico Manqueros was lucky enough to be playing percussion with this group...and he had a ball despite to impetus for the show...THAT'S a good man !

Next, guest singer HANK CASTRO (aka the Prince of funk, footwork and finesse ) came up and melted hearts with some smooth soul & THEE MIDNITER oldies. As always, Hank can work a crowd and get people dancing and smooching in no time with his marvelous performing talent, and he happily joins ladies on the dance floor when invited.

...one of those guys that make a party, know what I mean?

When he joined former back-in-da-day MIDNITER bandmate LARRY RENDON for a sweet version of 'That's All" , they got a loud & appreciative ovation from the people on the dance floor that made it one of the moments of the night...'cause they just don't happen all the time!

Next up, all the way from San Jose, Art "Arturovitch" Galvan and Kelly "The Kat" Galvan, better known as THE KOOL KATZ , came up and kicked it into high gear with a killer performance.

Well known for their "take no prisoners" approach to performing music, Kelly & Art fit right in with the band at moments notice, and you would have swore they all been rehearsing together for weeks!

Known in the business as 'One bad ass babe on stage", Kelly & the RECESSIONS worked it soooo fine...and the audience simply fell in love with yet another talented Latina from the Land of 1000 Dances...and YOU KNOW we ain't done yet!

With an elbow-to-elbow packed dance floor, they all did something I NEVER seen or heard before: the classic dance tune "Tighten Up' with saxophone, guitar, and timbale solos, accompanied by vibraphone and a chorus verse with brass that had everybody singing & clapping along....another moment worth mentioning!

Celebrities in the audience included LOUIE PARRA, THEE Mr. DURAN, EAST L.A. REY, VANESSA HERNANDEZ & EDGAR SALAS of TEASE, MIKE MOLINA of LOS FABULOCOS, ARTURO ESPARSA & the staff of the EAST L.A. PRIMETIME TV Show, and a few others worth mentioning...forgive if I forgot you in this piece...but your attendance & support was appreciated by the MANQUEROS family, believe me !

Last but most definitely NOT least, to close the show in true Chicano style & class, the great Mr. JOHNNY HERNANDEZ, one of the pioneering legends of Tejano music soul, and one of the original lead singers of LIL' JOE and the LATINAIRRES/FAMILIA fame, came on stage to a standing ovation.

Packing the dance floor with the all time favorite "Las Nubes", Johnny was joined by members of the the TRIO DEL ALMA & Louie Mendez as he brought the magic back with the Viet Nam wartime classic " Rebelde" that had a lot of us Vets singing along with a tear in our beer, and a nostalgic smile on our faces.

A great performer, Johnny always seems to be joining in with and having just as good a time as the dancing audience he's entertaining...and the Gente simply love him for that!

After they performed their last song, the traditional grito of "?íUN OTRA!" rang out among the crowd, and Johnny & the band happily ended the night with an encore, with everybody in the house either singing along or dancing to "Mama no puedo con ella.

Like I said... a great time, at a great place, with great talent for a great cause...

...this one's for YOU, Bob !

About Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone & the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul heard daily on www.eastLArevue.com
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