Las Chollas Peligrosas Are Taking La Phoenikera By Storm
La Phoenikera has its own all-chic Latinx fusion band and they exist kind of by destiny. The band is made up of bad ass femmes from La Phoenikera, Los Angeles, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Ciudad Juarez and they’re called Las Chollas Peligrosas. You read right, Las Chollas Peligrosas, not Las Cholas Peligrosas. Although band member and self-proclaimed pun queen Tatiana Fresco, says they embrace both names because they are sassy ladies and all have a chola within.
Everything about the genesis and continuation of this band has been serendipitous up to this point. Melissa Marie Medina (guitar/flute) and Andria Bunnell (percussion) were sought out by a friend to play traditional Mexican tunes as a duo at the Coronado Porch Concert Series, but Andria thought it would be neat to play with more people. She made a few phone calls, put out some Facebook posts and Tatiana (accordion), Rachel Villa (guitar), and Anamieke Quinn (upright base) joined the ensemble.
When they linked up, Andria thought they would create a set from traditional Mexican covers, but when they realized just about every one of them is a singer/song-writer, they decided to add in some original songs. “We had no idea that the style that everybody writes in would fit so well together,” she says. They also decided that all of them would do lead vocals.
Each one of them brought to the table extensive musical experience in different genres (norteño, rock, ska, tropical, ranchero, afrobeats, classical, bluegrass and others) and a great love for the different manifestations of Latino music. Even Anamieke, the only non-Latina in the group, had a secret obsession with Latino music for a long time, which she says none of the other ladies knew about when they brought her on board.
Originally Andria and Melissa were going to get some players together for one show but when they all got in a room, they say it was magical. It turns out a single gig wasn’t in the stars for these chicks.
The band had a practice debut at The Lost Leaf on a Wednesday night to get in front of a crowd before the Coronado performance and the next day they got a phone call from Stateside Presents to play at VIVA PHX (holy sh$%t, no pressure!). “We’re all musicians, we are all involved in other projects but somehow we were all available the day they requested us,” says Rachel.
After seeing that the universe keeps aligning for them to continue playing together, they’ve decided to do just that but do it with a punch. “Now that we’re going to do this, we want to be activists and talk about things that are important,” says Andria. “Moving forward we’re gonna be in people’s faces talking about women’s rights, immigration, gay rights, local issues. We have a lot to say.” They now go by their official name (they performed namelessly at the Porch Series) and have added a new band member, Marian, who plays the violin and percussion.
You have a chance to see these ladies in action Friday, May 5 at the Crescent Ballroom, and after seeing one of their rehearsals I have to say you’re in for a treat. Plus, you get to be part of their “beginnings.” Judging by how quickly things are snowballing for them, you might not be able to get tickets for their next performance.
WHEN: Friday, May 5 at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Crescent Ballroom 308 N. 2nd Ave. Phoenix
HOW MUCH: Free but get there early, they might pack the place!