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Cumbia Is Alive And Well—And Shakin'—In Kansas City

Marta Rincon

Kontrolando Show is one of 30 local bands, dance groups, and djs, in addition to some national acts, that will be playing at Fiesta KC in Crown Center June 22 - 24, 2012.

Kontrolando Show is a cumbia band based out of Kansas City, Kan.  They have been playing together under that name for the past 3 years and have regular gigs around town nearly every week.  

Cumbia is a style of music that originated in Colombia’s Caribbean costal region, and it’s also originally the name of an African drum used to keep that ever so important beat that sparks the movement in a song.  There are many variations of cumbia music. Kontrolando Show, whose members are originally from Mexico, are taking the musical tradition and putting their own edge and local flavor into the mix.

Like most cumbia bands they tend to wear the same outfits when performing together live on stage.  One of their popular outfits sports a K and S printed on a shirt over the heart, representing the band’s name Kontrolando Show, meaning more or less, the ones controlling the show.  But it also spells out the abbreviation for Kansas.

Bassist Daniel Rincon, who helped get the group of friends together says he likes it here in Kansas, it’s easier to find work then in California where he also lived before. 

Rincon and trumpet player Joe Sanchez say that they want to play all over and go on bigger tours, but having to work on top of family responsibilities and then playing in a band almost every week if not more, takes up a lot of time.

But they have fun, and the music reflects that sentiment as do the fans who ‘shake it’ at their shows. 

Their original track 'Kontrolando Show' is the bands anthem. It introduces all the players and represents their home, Kansas City.

Sanchez says that the hardest part is getting all 10 heads together to agree on how the songs will go exactly, but as you can hear in the end es pura cumbia de Kansas City.

Kontrolando Show Video - Panamericano

Kontrolando Show is Daniel Rincon, Joe Sanchez, Manny Molina, Andres Suendaño, José Nava, Roman Valdez, Daniel Vaily, Celestino Morales, Daniel Juares and Ismael Garcia Jr.

Kontrolando Show will be performing with a host of other local and national acts at Fiesta KC in Crown Center, June 22-24, 2012.

This story was produced for KC Currents, which airs Sundays at 5pm with a repeat Mondays at 8pm. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KCCurrents podcast.

Every part of the present has been shaped by actions that took place in the past, but too often that context is left out. As a podcast producer for KCUR Studios and host of the podcast A People’s History of Kansas City, I aim to provide context, clarity, empathy and deeper, nuanced perspectives on how the events and people in the past have shaped our community today. In that role, and as an occasional announcer and reporter, I want to entertain, inform, make you think, expose something new and cultivate a deeper shared human connection about how the passage of time affects us all. Reach me at hogansm@kcur.org.
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