Latin Jams

By Kellye Crocker

Get ready for una fiesta grande when Des Moines-based Parranderos Latin Combo (PLC) releases its first album June 13 at 9 p.m. at The Gas Lamp. The self-titled CD of original music—featuring an array of styles such as salsa, cumbia, merengue and samba/bossa nova—was recorded in Puerto Rico with Grammy Award-winning sound engineers Ramon Martinez and Carlos Velazquez. Financed in part by the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts—as well as a Kickstarter campaign—the PLC2PR project took 14 musicians, two filmmakers and three multimedia producers to San Juan.

The band members are as eclectic as the music they play, hailing originally from Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru—and the Hawkeye State. (Four members had moved from Iowa but reunited for the sessions.) Working with music legends Martinez and Velazquez at Playbach Studio was akin to a Beatles’ fan recording at Abbey Road studios, PLC Leader Ryan Mullin says. “Ramon and Carlos did an amazing job recording and mixing the album, which wasn’t a simple task with all of the different styles and instrumentations,” he says.

Get a behind-the-scenes peek at the band in Puerto Rico in these short videos produced by Bruce Bales. Tickets for the CD release party, with special guest Banda Perla del Sur, are $10 from MidwestTix here. (Sorry, kids, the show is for those age 21 and over.) The digital version is expected to hit iTunes July 1.

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