Argentinian Band Los Pinguos Performs Oct. 12

Los Angeles-based Argentinean band Los Pinguos will perform at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum on Wednesday, Oct. 12 as part of the continuing celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The public portion of the program begins at 6:45 p.m.; seating is free, on a first-come basis.

Preceding the group’s evening performance, Los Pinguos will play outside of Collins Dining Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., also on Wednesday.

“Music, but particularly folk music, is the expression of the people,” says Mercedes Limon, visiting professor of Spanish, who has seen the group perform. “It is their feeling, their daily sorrows, and happiness. Sometimes, in the case of Latin America, it is their expression of social concerns, too a way of having a voice.”

Hailing from Buenos Aires, the five band members, Adri?n Buono, Jos? Agote, Juan Manzur, and Juan Manuel Leguizam?n, began playing local clubs and private parties in Buenos Aires. Their rising popularity inspired them to move to Los Angeles in 1999, debuting at such venues as the Latin Lounge, the Knitting Factory, and Key Club. Bassist Santiago Lee joined the group last fall.

After catching the eye of a talent scout during performances at Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, the band auditioned for a spot on the television show The Next Big Star, hosted and produced by Ed McMahon, and won the Grand Prize.

Los Pinguos has recorded two albums under the Peermusic label: Camino Bueno (2002) and Serenata (2003), and they performed at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival with singer Suzanne Vega. Their music has been featured on TV shows The Shield and The L Word, and in the 2003 film Imagining Argentina.

“This is a group who plays folk music from all over Latin-America and Spain,” says Limon, who is impressed by both the variety and quality of the band’s music. “The students will be exposed to a broad collection of music as well as the cultural circumstances from which the songs emerge.”