Within Bogotá’s fiery music scene, LA-33 has emerged as Colombia’s most famous touring salsa orchestras. The sound is modern yet authentic, embracing retro salsa dura (hard salsa), classic cumbria, ska, Latin jazz and old school New York Boogaloo. Significantly, the band is named after Calle 33, their home street in Bogatá, because it captures an essential urban take on salsa, connected directly to the streets.
The 12-piece band was founded by Sergio and Santiago Mejia in 2000 , when the brothers called on college friend Guillermo Celis to sing lead vocals. As the trio began to shape the group by playing in low-rent bars, they assembled a diverse range of musicians from rock, funk, ska, folk, classical music, fusion and jazz backgrounds. Throughout the past 14 years this solid line-up has become like a tight family. LA-33 came to mainstream attention through their first album containing the wildly popular “La Pantera Mambo”, a frenetic mambo take on Henry Mancini’s theme from The Pink Panther.
From there, LA-33 quickly became the darlings of the contemporary salsa scene, with their four albums (LA-33, Gozalo, Ten Cuidado and Tumbando Por Ahi) topping the Colombian charts. Returning to their true cultural roots, LA-33 celebrate life and have fun with gritty urban dance music propelled by clattering Latin percussion and massed horns.