¡ESSO! AFROJAM FUNKBEAT
Puerko Pitzotl, Dan Lieber, Ezra Lange, Diana Mosquera, Armando Pérez, Jess Anzaldúa, Kevin Miller, Matt Davis, Logan Lu
Photo: Mike Rivera
ESSO has shared the stage with grammy winners: Cafe Tacvba, Natalia Lafourcade, Bomba Estereo, Ozomatli, Los Amigos Invisibles, Kinky, as well as Songhoy Blues, El Sonido Gallo Negro, Los Rakas, Chicha Libre, Saul Williams, Jeremy Sole, Jenny & the Mexicats, Gaby Moreno, Alice Russel, Euforquestra, and Boogat.
In 2016, the band played regularly in Chicago and was named "Best New Band" and "Best International/World Music Act" by the revered Chicago Reader's annual poll. ESSO then released a free downloadable remix album entitled "Pueblo Unido," a full album collaboration with their local community of music producers and DJs as a thank you note to their growing support base. They followed up with a tour through the Midwest and East Coast, highlighting various cities in Minnesota, Michigan, New York, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, and Indiana performing for new listeners and boosting their national visibility.
Catching the attention of tastemakers, promoters, and booking agents, they began to play festival stages opening for national and international touring acts. Releasing their eponymous self-titled full length album on their own Sonic Octopus Recordings imprint in 2015, the band toured through the Midwest to New Orleans and back garnering local and national attention.
*** Their notable experience and active work in performing for grassroots community organizations has helped raise awareness and vital funding for important after-school, immigrant justice, and fair housing programs across Chicago and Illinois. They also spearhead free library programs, presentations, and workshops focused on cultural recognition in music and poetry for all ages.
Members: Armando Pérez (guitar/vocal), Kevin Miller (saxophone), Dan Lieber (drums/percussion), Ezra Lange (bass), Diana Mosquera (vocals), Puerko Pitzotl (percussion), Jess Anzaldúa (percussion), Luis Tubens (vocals), Matthew Davis (trombone), Jasmine Malika Luevano (vocals), and special guests.
¡ESSO! (El Sonido Sonic Octopus) performs funky Afro-Latin and roots rock inspired dance music. The ethnically diverse crew of musicians establish driving polyrhythmic grooves, combining twang guitar, thumping bass, with the strength of brass horns, group singing, and urban poetry all in an eclectic mix of raw energetic sounds. All members bring a vital contribution to the band's unique "afrojam funkbeat" style. Inspired by Chicago's soulful blues, jazzy house, and global fusion heavyweights, the group deliver their performances with purpose and verve; unifying listeners through music, dance, and collaborative energy.
In 2017, ESSO made their SXSW debut in Austin, TX to industry insiders and cultural ambassadors performing for grassroots organizations and cultural showcases. They toured through México in early Spring with a West Coast/Southwest US summer tour completed in September. The busy group released their sophomore full length studio album September 8th. The new album "Juntos" blends new sounds with surprising twists, even for a band like ESSO. Their touring schedule will continue to bring their contagious energy and sounds to premier music venues and festivals across the Americas. Catch their next show.
ESSO Afrojam Funkbeat came to life in 2013, drawing from the members' shared love of funk, soul, and high energy music. Earning their start as the house band for a live music night in downtown Chicago, the rotating members collaborated live onstage until a solid foundation assembled. With a growing setlist of original material, co-founders Armando Pérez and Kevin Miller released their first original recordings as an EP mixtape.
They've played for notable festivals: Ruido Fest, Chicago World Music Festival, Taste of Chicago, Clark Street Festival, Villapalooza and more.