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San Jose Taco Festival Brings Cutting-Edge Bands to History Park

In Culture, Music
Squareweezy of the Bangerz performs at the San Jose Taco Festival.

Squareweezy of the Bangerz performs at the San Jose Taco Festival.

If a day filled with 25 different food trucks, each offering completely different variations of tacos doesn’t already sound like an excellent way to spend a Saturday afternoon, how about adding to that a full day of cutting-edge, eclectic bands?

The organizers of the San Jose Taco Festival made a concerted effort to book some interesting, up-and-coming bands for what they are hoping will be an annual festival in San Jose. They didn’t want the typical classic rock/cover bands that tend to serve as background music to most food-themed festivals. They wanted the kind of lineup people would check out even if there were no tacos.

“We wanted to book bands that were on the cusp of technology, but also bands that are more organic, really get a mixture of both worlds,” says music organizer Matt Gonzales.

At one end of the spectrum, they’ve booked acts like Turbo Sonidero Futuristico, who mix experimental electronic music with traditional cumbia, and Squareweezy, one of the DJs from San Jose’s innovative hip hop crew, The Bangerz.

On the other end, they’ve booked the Tumbleweed Wanderers, an acoustic Americana group with heartland rock and roll passion, and Los Hot Boxers and a local reggae, dancehall group with earnest doo wop elements.

While the bookings were deliberately diverse, they did want to make sure Latin music was represented. Besides Turbo Sonidero Futuristico, La Misa Negra plays strictly traditional cumbia, with a full horn section and lots of danceable percussion to work off those taco calories.

Probably the oddest nod to Mexican music at the festival will be the air accordion festival.

“They originally wanted to do an air guitar contest, but everyone does that, so they came up with an air accordion contest instead,” Gonzales says.

The Taco Festival will be held Saturday, April 14, at History Park, 1650 Senter Rd, San Jose, 11am-5pm; $7. More info.

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