In the Eye of the Tiger - or even the Bear, Mala Rumba is Cabo’s Hottest Band
Just when you think there can’t possibly be more top level wedding services in Cabo, we showcase another. This time, we are focusing on the live entertainment for your Los Cabos event. As you probably know, celebration and music are in the DNA of Mexican culture, so prepare to raise your expectations.
You are likely expecting to hear about Mariachi, guitar and maybe some pop-rock music. Would you have imagined a Cabo band featuring a fusion of rock, rumba/flamenca, Indian music, jazz, and middle eastern influences? Well, you don’t need to imagine, Mala Rumba has exactly that and more!
Our Managing Partner, Arianna Ocampo, talked with Juan De Mara, (Jerry to his friends) manager and percussionist for Mala Rumba.
Arianna: Hello, welcome to our interview blog! We love showcasing the incredible talent and companies we currently collaborate with in Los Cabos. Today I’m very very happy to introduce you to Jerry, Welcome Jerry!
Jerry: I’m super excited to be here!
Arianna: So today we’re going to share some insight and general information from your services and how we collaborate with you guys. It’s definitely a pleasure to meet you guys and through the years and we’re so happy to share this information to all of our brides and couples who are looking to get married in Los Cabos.
So, we would love to know how long you have been performing together professionally?
Jerry: We’ve been performing as a band for seven years now. Before we played here and there as individuals but it was seven years ago that we started like, on pointe.
Arianna: It’s a band composed of how many musicians?
Jerry: We are four musicians, we are two guitar players, one of them sings, one flute player who also sings and me, who plays percussion.
Arianna: Excellent. And you guys are from different parts of Mexico, do you have a couple from other areas in the world - where are you guys coming from?
Jerry: Well, two of us are from Guadalajara, the singer is from Sonora, and I’m from Mexico City.
Arianna: Perfect. How would you describe your style, and what type of genres do you guys play?
Jerry: We also say that we play more music because we have a fusion of rhythms, a fusion of rock, Rumba/Flamenca, music from India, a little bit of jazz, and some middle eastern music too. So we have a very unique mixture. It wasn’t intended like that in the beginning, but it came to that because of our influences.
Arianna: Do you guys only play as a quartet, or do you use some sort of an ensemble that you can play as a duet, trio, or do you have any other options different than a quartet?
Jerry: We usually manage ourselves as a quartet because we have all the arrangements for the quartet. But, in case it is necessary we can do trio and duo; flute and guitar, two guitars, or guitar and percussion.
Arianna: Perfect. Do you guys provide a full set up with all your equipment such as amplifiers, speakers etc?
Jerry: Yes, we have everything - from the simplest of setups to a big, big, show. So we can put together a big stage with robotic lights, with beams, with everything. So you can count on anything you need.
Arianna: Are you able to perform special songs requested by wedding couples such as traditional songs such as, for example let’s imagine, Canon in D, or any others that are a little more traditional in a way for a wedding ceremony for example.
Jerry: Yes, we have all the range from really, really traditional, we also love to involve with the couples when they have some special request or some really special song. What we only ask is for send in advance, the most time we have to make a good arrangement the best. So, we like to talk about what is important and why it’s important for the couple, so we know in which specific time we have to play. And, we like to put our own twist on every arrangement.
Arianna: Do you generally use lighting or any special effect to the party?
Jerry: Well, we like to make a good ambiance with our lighting so yes, when it is at night we like to have our own set up for lighting.
Arianna: Excellent! Do you have a variety of outfits or suits that we can require? For example there are parties that we do that are called “White Parties”or “Black Tie,” you know, for certain events, so you’re able to basically confirm those type of requirements?
Jerry: Yes, yes. When we are required for an event the first thing we do is to send a questionnaire, and in that questionnaire one of the questions is “What kind of outfits do you want us to have?” or if the party has some special color or theme.
Arianna: Have you guys collaborated or worked as a Master of Ceremonies?
Jerry: It’s not usual that people ask us, but we can. We only ask to have it in advance so we can work a proper writing or proper reading of the document they want to do.
Arianna: How do you, for example, when you’re going to play for a cocktail reception or a dinner how do you set your repertoire, or do you read the crowd? How does that work?
Jerry: We have a music director in the back and he has a very accurate eye. We also have a lot of repertoire so we feel the crowd, we see the ages, the people, so we said “They’re gonna enjoy this - they’re gonna enjoy that” and we have pretty amazing stories with that kind of stuff.
Once we were playing normal and we saw a guy, like sixty years old, purple hair, a zebra t-shirt, with a Navajo necklace with bones and everything, a rocker style. So our guitar player said “I know what song is special for this guy,” and we started playing The Eye of the Tiger - you know that song - “tan, tan tan tan?” And he came and he started singing with us and it was great. Well, he was the WRITER of that song! He could play the keyboard on Survivor, yes.
Arianna: Oh my god, really? That’s definitely a story!
Jerry: Yes, so our musical director has a pretty accurate eye to read the crowd and to choose songs.
Arianna: What happens when, for example, when there are clients or a couple who are super specific and require certain music? Like, how do you manage that because I heard from other musicians that sometimes it’s hard when you get the set list exactly, you know, narrowed down by a client.
Like, how do you manage that situation? Obviously you want to make sure you know what you’re doing and you want to make sure that you please your crowd, but how do you manage that type of request?
Jerry: Usually, when they ask us what kind of songs we have we send the repertoire and it’s not really usual that people say “I want this and this in this specific order.” It only happens for like three or four songs, for example like, in the ceremony when the bride is coming we play a certain song but usually they give us freedom. But if somebody wants something very specific we come and go, we make a counter proposal so we can manage something we know we can work.
Arianna: Excellent. Any funny stories besides the one where this gentleman was actually the writer of the Eye of the Tiger song? Like anything funny that you can share to us?
Jerry: Well, we have a lot of stories! I think one of the best - well, it wasn’t funny but it was scary. We were playing in Aspen, Colorado, and then we went over, we went for a beer, and we were just, like, hanging out, and suddenly we see like a big, big, big, big bear coming straight to us so we like very very very gently started to walk and we came into the bar, like doing these little steps, it was very scary. But, it was funny at the end.
Arianna: So the bear stayed there standing and you guys were able to sneak in?
Jerry: Ya, he came, he saw, like grabbed some chips we had on the table, and then he’s away!
Arianna: Wow, that’s nature! So, how does your band stand apart from other bands in Los Cabos? What can you tell us about it?
Jerry: Well, the thing we have is we always think of our gigs and our events as a concert, we don’t think of background music. We feel it and we put a lot of energy on everything, even though when they ask us to play low, we also try to make an ambiance, a mystic ambiance, and our influences are really - for example, the flute guy, he studied in India for five years so he has it in his blood, so we have that kind of mixture that makes our music very, very different. And the voice of our singer is very, very different, like a mix of a male and raspy voice with a Flamenco voice that is also, so it’s a unique mixture. And, what we have as we’ve been playing for so long, we really communicate without words on the stage, so the energy we bring to the stage it’s really unique.
Arianna: Yes, for sure! You know we’re very thankful and we love to collaborate with such professional people and talent in Los Cabos and I’m personally very happy to have such strong companies that our clients can rely on that they will have an amazing party, they don’t have anything to worry about - we don’t have anything to worry about also so we’re very happy and thankful to work and collaborate with you!
So, we really appreciate your support and everything you do, you know I know that right now you’ve been like non-stop rehearsing and making sure that when we’re back to normal we’re going to be stronger than ever, no? So I invite everyone, all of our couples, to see what we’re talking currently right now in order to make your look for talent very easy!
Jerry: Well, first of all, I’m super thankful with you for this opportunity, for this interview. I really like working with you, all the band, we love working with you - thank you so much! And for those want to know Mala Rumba, we are on Instagram and Facebook as @malarumba. We are releasing some new videos, some new music, some new stuff, and I invite you to join us and maybe you’ll like it.
Arianna: Thank you Jerry, we appreciate it and we’ll definitely share this information to you very soon.
Jerry: We are really really wanting to play for you guys out there so come to Cabo, we are gonna deliver some serious Rumba for you!
Mala Rumba Booking Do's and Don'ts
• We love making arrangements for your special songs. The more time we have to do and practice it in the stage at our regular gigs, the better. You will feel it.
• Having a stage or even a small platform for the band, makes a nice difference to the look and vibe of your wedding.
• Please share your wedding band, or tag them at the photos on social media. We seriously appreciate being part of your special day and showing it to the world.
• Don't choose the songs of your ceremony based on trends. The music it's defined by moments and vice-versa. Choose songs that have true meaning for you both.
• Don't lose contact with us after your event. We love having you back and performing for you in our regular gigs.
• Ask for our repertoire but please let us choose the order at your cocktail or dinner. We will handpick the best song to suit the moment depending on the crowd, time, and vibe.
Planning an event or wedding entails a the time and effort to sift through details that will result in something special for everyone who attends. Take the guesswork out of finding entertainment by choosing a high level, proven VIBE supplier who will help create delightful memories you never even imagined!
To find out more about planning your Cabo event or wedding reach out to us today. If you would like to learn more about Mala Rumba, you can find them on their website (see link below), or on Instagram or Facebook at @malarumba.
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