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BAND BIOGRAPHY

Grupo Fantasma has been praised as one of the most important independent acts in the Latin genre and has continually defied expectations to create one of the most unique musical voices to come out of the United States in the last decade. In 2011, they garnered further acclaim by winning a Grammy (their second such nomination) for their self–produced release El Existential on Nat Geo Music which the Wall Street Journal called “Latin music both new and traditional…vibrant fusions that transcend easy classification.”

 

 

The band’s incendiary live show, declared by NPR as “seamless whenever and wherever they’re on stage” has brought the band to major festivals and venues internationally including Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, North Sea Jazz Festival (Curacao and Rotterdam) and Lowlands in the Netherlands, Kennedy Center, London’s O2 Arena, Montreal Jazz Festival, WOMEX, WOMAD, Tempo Latino (France) as well as two tours to Kuwait and Iraq to entertain US troops and a recent tour in Pakistan and Qatar. Their diverse spectrum of devoted fans speaks to the ensemble’s universal appeal beyond just Latin or world music.

 

In addition, they have served as the backing band for and collaborated on several occasions with the late, great, legendary Prince (ALMA Awards on ABC, Golden Globes, CBS Super Bowl Bash, 21 Nights in London), Fania All–Stars pianist Larry Harlow, Sheila–E, GZA of Wu–Tang Clan, Maceo Parker, Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets, Ruben Ramos, GZA of the Wu–Tang Clan, cult–hero Daniel Johnston, indie rock standouts Spoon, Los Lobos and many others. In 2015 and 2016 they continued to tour the globe with club and festival dates in support of their latest studio release, Problemas (Blue Corn Music); their 6th full–length album produced by Multi–Grammy award winner Steve Berlin of Los Lobos and released in late 2015. Additionally, they have appeared on the nationally syndicated PBS show Austin City Limits 3 times (2016, 2014, 2007). Their music has also appeared in films and movies including Breaking Bad (AMC), Weeds (Showtime), Frankie & Gracie (Netflix), Law & Order (NBC) as well as the John Sayles’ film Casa de los Babies among others.

 

The nine piece musical collective formed in 2000 in Austin, Texas and consists of Jose Galeano (timbales, vocals), Kino Esparza (vocals, hand percussion), Beto Martinez (guitar), Greg Gonzalez (bass), John Speice (drums), Matthew “Sweet Lou” Holmes (congas), Gilbert Elorreaga (trumpet), Josh Levy (baritone saxophone) and Mark “Speedy” Gonzales (trombone).

 

From the Press…

 

“Latin music both new and traditional…
vibrant fusions that transcend easy classification”

Wall Street Journal

“Latin funk masters.”

USA Today

“A sound done so right that you have to hand the crown to this group.”

Huffington Post

“Seamless… whenever and wherever they’re on stage.”

NPR

“Tightly weaving Anglo, Afro and Latin musical genres, El Existential takes on an identity of its own. They blast off in their own funktified, genre–breaking directions.”

Billboard

“One of the sickest live bands ever”

Philadelphia Weekly

“Real musicians playing real music.”

Prince

“An orgy of creative musicianship”

San Francisco Weekly

“Fantasma is honing a decidedly 21st–century version of Latin groove.”

Boston Globe

“It’s a fresh, energetic set”

The Guardian (UK)

“One of the decade’s most important artists in the Latin genre.”

All Music Guide

“They’ll knock you down with the grooves.”

The Village Voice

“The ten members of Grupo Fantasma represent a new generation in Latin music.”

Washington Post

“Listening to Grupo Fantasma is like watching the Iron Chef at work;
they create a sprawling feast for the ears.”

Boston Phoenix

“Grupo Fantasma was as tight as one would expect
from a band that routinely backs up Prince”

LA Weekly

“Famous for their incendiary live shows.”

Toronto Sun

“The most adventurous pan–cultural Latin band.”

San Antonio Current

 

Tour Dates
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#grupofantasma
 http://www.austindiadelosmuertos.com/ This year's Dia de los Muertos concert features Austin-based, 9-piece band Grupo Fantasma! Don't miss Grupo Fantasma, Bombasta, Tiarra Girls, James Keith and the Moondogs and DJ King Louie of Peligrosa bring down the house at Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater on November 4. We'll be celebrating a full day of festivities including Texas Wrangler's annual City Wide Hold Up, Disability Awareness Day with a proclamation from Mayor Adler at our fifth annual Dia de los Muertos Concert. All proceeds benefit Easterseals Central Texas's mission to to change the way the world defines and views disability by making profound, positive differences in people’s lives every day.​  HOUSTON! Catch us in action this Friday at the Karbach Brewery! We'll be joined by Houston legends Los Skarnales. All proceeds benefit K9 angels pet rescue/Harvey relief
 We're heading up I 35 this Friday Oct 6th for a show in Waco at Musicfest 2017! The whole event is FREE and we take the stage at 830 PM. Come party with us! https://www.wacoartsfest.org/2017-website-pages/musicfest/ #waco #musicfest #freeshow #streetfest #blockparty #grupofantasma #latingroove #cumbiafunk  We're hitting the road again this weekend! Help us spread the word! July 14th at Tricky Falls in El Paso July 15th at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe
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