Live music at Zócalo

By: Milwaukeño

It’s no secret that we are all suffering from at least a little bit of cabin fever after roughly six months of staring at the inside of the walls of our homes, at least those of us that have been fortunate enough to be allowed to work from home. Fortunately, your homies at Zócalo have a plan to help ease your cabin fever in the best way possible….LIVE MUSIC, with the necessary precautions in place of course. We reached out to Jesús González at Zócalo to get a better idea of what to expect from these performances. 

MKÑ: Why did you decide to host the “Music at the Patio” events at Zócalo while we are still in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Jesús from Zócalo: Let’s face it, COVID-19 sucks and it has affected all of us, especially for a lot of local musicians who rely on their gigs to pay the bills. So I thought let’s put the music back in the hands of musicians, as a result  we decided to host ticketed events and pay musicians with the proceeds, to help cushion the blow of COVID-19. In August we had four performances so far, we plan to continue these events through September. Our last act for August is Pulpa de Guayaba. Our September lineup will include Octavio Arcanjo performing Brazilian jazz, a weekend of Latin comedy shows featuring Telethia Lebron, ADL and Anthony Fuentez from New York, Luis Acevalo and Estephany Guzman from Chicago and Raul Guzman from Milwaukee. The last two weekends of September will include more musical performances including the sounds of Boleros and live Salsa.

MKÑ: That is a pretty diverse lineup, why is it so important for Zócalo to promote diversity? 

Jesús from Zócalo: I think diversity is the key! Somos Latinos  and it is important to know that we are also diverse in our own arts, our music, traditions, but at the core of it we are all Latinos. The Idea behind Zócalo was to build a “Plaza” which is a time square where you see musicians sharing their music, street performers, artists selling their art. In Latin American countries, you can’t have a plaza without the music, the art, all these theses traditions that give us a reason to celebrate our cultures.  

MKÑ: What are the safety measures taken by Zócalo for these outdoor events? 

Jesús from Zócalo: We have protocols in place in the grounds to make people comfortable, keep our employees safe, keep our costumers safe.  We follow all city mandates. Masks are required at all times when walking through the park, unless you are sitting down eating and drinking you can remove your masks. Our sitting area is spaced out for social distancing. In the food truck area we also have art installations six feet apart from each to remind people about social distancing. I think the most important is that we need to realize that we are all in this together. I think the only way to get through this is if we start working together and help each other out.  We have to collaborate. If we are able to provide a platform to help our performers and musicians, the performer and musicians will also help us out by providing their talent and unite our community more in a very healthy ecosystem.  

Saturday, August 29th at 8:30pm will mark the fifth installment of Music on the Patio and local groupazzo “Pulpa de Guayaba”  will be taking the socially distanced stage at Zócalo (tickets available through CashDrop here). Ahead of this Saturday’s festivities, we reached out to Pulpa de Guayaba to get to know the band a little more.

MKÑ: Who are you and where did you come from

Pulpa de Guayaba: Pulpa de Guayaba is a five piece band based in Milwaukee, comprising Dominick Dear (vocals) Juan Alvarez (guitar) Miguel Sanchez (bass) Marco Aurelio (drums, percussion) Michael Ruth (saxophone, flute, clarinet). We are all local to Milwaukee and have been playing and performing music in the city for several years with different projects before linking up.

We initially came together in the early fall of 2019 to hang out and meet other musicians to play with. Our weekly jams were exciting and fun and we soon realized we had something special with a lot of potential.

MKÑ: Why are you called Pulpa De Guayaba, What is the origin?

Pulpa de Guayaba: We started out casually joking around about what would be our band name if we became a band. We didn’t take it too serious and even messed around with band name randomizers online. Eventually, there was the chance for a gig and we had to come up with and commit to a name. Miguel had jokingly named the google folder that kept jam session recordings, Pulparindos de la Sierra. Marco first mentioned the name, Pulpa de Guayaba, as something he had previously thought about. He talked about the fields of Guayaba trees in his hometown in Mexico and the significance of remembering where he came from. It had a nice ring to it and we thought pulp was kind of like jam and that’s we had been doing all along, jamming together, taking everyone’s ideas and influences and mashing them together to create something different. Marco says, “Por qué somos la mera pulpa del jugo lo más bueno lo más consentrado de cada ritmo que tocamos”. Our friend and local artist, Carlos Herrada, whipped up a few designs for a logo and created something that surpassed our expectations and made the band that much more real. The name reflects our roots and the joy with which we make music.

MKÑ: How would you categorize the music that you make?

Pulpa de Guayaba: Just fun, groovy music. It’s hard to put into a box but it is the sum of all of our influences. The genres we love span from hip hop and reggae to rock, RnB, Cumbia and so much more. We got together to make whatever music we felt like making, without any restrictions or limits, and that’s the spirit that we think makes the project special. 

(From left to right: Dominick Dear, Michael Ruth, Marco Aurelio, Juan Alvarez, Miguel Sanchez)

MKÑ: What inspires your music? What or who are your muses?

Pulpa de Guayaba: Being happy, sad, in love, just thinking about all the feelings and emotions that we experience through life. Johnathan Laws, our drummer for our upcoming show says, “What inspires me is the stuff that moves me, the selfishness in playing and creating what feels good to me.” 

The list of artists and musicians is endless, below are some.

  • Juan – Los Bukis, John Frusciante, Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Josh Homme, Omar Rodriguez Lopez
  • Dom- Queen (Freddie Mercury), Anderson .paak, Mac Miller, Amy Winehouse, Red Hot Chili Peppers 
  • Miguel-  Celso Piña, Foo Fighters, Cafe Tacuba, Goldfinger, Khruangbin, Pxndx, Linkin Park, Metallica, Chicano Batman, Charles Bradley, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Juanes, Los Pericos

MKÑ: How do you want your audience to experience your music?

Pulpa de Guayaba:Naked and a little afraid. Just kidding. We want to move people physically and emotionally. We hope our music makes people dance and feel as intensely as we do when playing our songs. We want people to vibe and groove with us. To get goosebumps because or melodies or lyrics speak to them in some way.

MKÑ: Where and when can we find your music?

Pulpa de Guayaba: For now you can listen to some of our live jams on SoundCloud. We will be posting more content as we are able to get together and record songs in the coming months.  There were many ideas and plans that got sidetracked, including releasing our first single, when COVID forced us to close shop but we are building momentum back up. We plan to hit the studio and record more music this year for our community to be able to check us out on all streaming platforms.

You can watch a preview of Saturday’s performance at Zócalo here:

For tickets and more information about Music on the Patio’s Live Music events at Zócalo Food Park, visit zocalomke.com

Photo Credits:
Facebook.com/ZocaloFoodPark
Facebook.com/PulpadeGuayaba

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