Over the last twenty years, rock 'n' roll has altered the sound of Latin pop music in new and vibrant ways right here in the States. In the Bay Area, that evolution can be measured by following Oakland-based Spanish-language rock band Orixa. Mainstays Juan Manuel Caipo (drums), Mark Caipo (bass), Manuel Severeno (guitar), and Rowan Jimenez (vocals) have been at the forefront of this movement, started in part by Aztlan Records, the SF Mission-based label, in the 1990s. The label was an important stepping stone that also launched Los Mocosos, Ley de Hielo, and other bands. Orixa, which has been rockin' it since 1994, turned to Florida indie label Elegua Records to release its latest full-length, 2012 e.d., which won "Outstanding Latin Album" at the 2001 California Music Awards. Known for energetic performances at community events and local clubs, the band has amassed international respect, with its videos streaming on HTV, the Latino version of MTV. A new album is due out this summer, and you can sample one track, "Siembra," on the group's Web site. You can also catch 'em performing free on Sunday, May 25, at the California Music Awards, 2-7 p.m. at Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland.
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