Argentine Folk Group Band Los Pinguos

NMU International Performing Arts Series

Saturday, February 12, 7:30 p.m.

Great Lakes Rooms, Don H. Bottum University Center

It may be cold outside but on February 12, in the Great Lakes Rooms, it will be smoking hot as the NMU International Performing Arts Series presents the Argentine folk-groove act, Los Pinguos.  The concert is being co-sponsored by the NMU Department of Modern Languages and Literatures through a Title XI grant from the U.S. Department of Education.  Here is a video performance by the group, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASy0CH-nGbs&playnext=1&list=PLFBB731EF5661C2

Los Pinguos came to the U.S. from cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a mixture of Latin rhythms, performed with Spanish guitars, a Cuban Tres, Peruvian cajón (box-drum), bass and harmonizing vocals.  Vivacious and infectious, the sound of Los Pinguos has claimed fans worldwide, from their hometown to the streets of Los Angeles.  

The story began in 1999 when Adrián Buono, José Agote, Juan Manzur and Juan Manuel Leguizamón (later joined by bassist Santiago Lee) formed the band to play in clubs, bars, and private parties throughout Buenos Aires. Their exciting, passionate live shows garnered a devoted fan base, inspiring the talented ensemble to pursue global attention.

So they packed their bags and headed north to the Californian shores.  Newly arrived to the City of Angels in early 2001, Los Pinguos began playing at local bars such as The Latin Lounge, The Knitting Factory, Key Club, Temple Bar and Little Temple.  But it was when they started to perform for the crowds at Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade (a Los Angeles shopping/restaurant hot spot) that the band realized their potential to reach a wide and diverse audience. 

While performing, they were spotted by a talent scout who urged them to audition for a new television show, “The Next Big Star”, hosted and produced by Ed McMahon of “Star Search” fame.  In spite of fierce competition from more seasoned groups, and being the only Latin band to perform, Los Pinguos won the audience vote and rightly claimed the Grand Prize.

Since then, they have recorded five new albums –"Camino Bueno" (2002), "Serenata" (2003), “Live In Los Angeles” (2005) a live double CD on Kufala Records, “Peripecias” (2006) and “California” (2008).  They've played with such acts as Ozomatli, Taj Mahal, The Skatalites, The Nevile Brothers, Pablo Montero, Paul Anka, Plácido Domingo, Yerba Buena, Charly Garcia and famed Argentinean rockers Bersuit Vergarabat.  They also appeared at the 2005 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL with female songstress Suzanne Vega.  Los Pinguos’ music has appeared in TV shows such as "The Shield", "The L Word", and is featured in the Antonio Banderas and Emma Thompson film "Imagining Argentina,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and had two songs in the Katherine Heigl movie “The Ugly Truth” this year.  The band also participated in the award-winning documentary on street musicians entitled “Playing for Change”.  Los Pinguos have appeared on three of the famous Putumayo World Music compilations, “Baila!”, “Radio Latino” and most recently, “World Party”.