Born in the streets of Los Angeles, Las Cafeteras are children of immigrants who are remixing roots music and telling modern day stories with eclectic instruments, including jarana’s, requinto, a donkey jawbone, a West African bass instrument called the Marimbol, cajón, and a wooden platform called the Tarima used to dance Zapateado. Las Cafeteras formed as a band in 2008 to document the histories of their neighborhoods through music. They started as students of the Eastside Café, a Zapatista inspired community space in East Los Angeles where they were influenced by the culture, storytelling, and poetic music of Son Jarocho, a traditional music from Veracruz, Mexico. To honor women and challenge masculine language, they feminized their group name by calling themselves, Las Cafeteras, rather than Los Cafeteros. They have recently returned from a sold out national tour and will be playing Friday night at California State University in Northridge.
The daughter of musicians, Kesenia Valenti was born and raised in the port of Khodka, Russia – literally the last stop on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. The isolation didn’t stop her. She began studying classical piano at 6, was a finalist on the national Russian television program ‘Sing if you Can” and found a way to move to Los Angeles to study acting and continue her musical career. She began working with producer Mario Marchetti and songwriter Gino Barletta to craft high energy, rhythmic pop songs based on her life. At the same time she began studying comedy, producing comedy videos and acting. Now a triple threat, she has just released her first single, with more on the way.