The Hotlist, Quito-Swing Original Monks-Be Monk!
Quito’s diverse Musical and cultural hotspots are constantly changing and growing. The local music scene which just a few short years ago consisted of a lot of death metal, has now been over-run with fun-loving, original, 10 piece bands rocking the house both far and wide. Check back with this blog weekly to find out more about the scene with the hotlist, Quito.
The Swing Original Monks are a genre unto themselves. The band at times is camp but the music is a tight fusion of swing, jazz, bluegrass, conga and whatever else they feel like throwing in during the moment. Baseline’s bounce and jump, guitar riffs wander and come pounding back while the drums keep the beat with the rest of the band setting up the moment to pounce.
The music is the focus beyond the glare of the spotlights. Each person from the drummer, the violin player, the bassist, maybe a bango player and few few pairs of bongos and maracas sneak up on the guitarist and vocalists. The band plays in dangerously close musical proximity with their bandmates, and takes pride on reaching new heights preforming and shenanigans . Consider the fact that the author saw them in a small theater in Quito, Ocho y Medio. The show was a special affair with the Monks focusing on the swing in Swing Original Monks and high energy antics of their live shows were checked for an acoustic rendering of their setlist.
While the band was decked out in theater finery and the boys managed to keep their shirts on for most of the show, the groove of their music is infectious, winding its way around the room only to spring up at the end of a 2nd well-restrained set. The entire theater felt the energy heat up and for the next forty-five minutes, the place was on fire.
Its at that point when the energy of the band and that of the audience gets critical, the rhythm takes an unexpected lead forward, guitarist, Alvaro Nieto turns up the volume and the whole place ends up on their feet. Its the hot ticket in town for more than one good reason and the Monks play across the country, in the States and in Europe on a regular bases.
Song after song comes alive while the band is hopping, singing dancing and playing their hearts out for the crowd. One by one, the members comes forward to take a turn at a solo, riff off of the drummer or fire up the guitarists. When it all is said and done, no one is left without a smile and band members greet their guests and friends outside. This isn’t their first time at the circus, and hopefully isn’t their last for many years to come. The Swing Original Monks and all that they accompany are the heartbeat of the funky music scene emerging from the underground bohemian scene into the fierce, Quito sun.
Mr. Bumbass – voz
Juana – voz, percusión
Locopaxi – synths, loops
El Guayaconewyorkino – guitarra, violín
Alvarín – guitarra
Steph Viteri – bajo
Zak Icaza – batería
Santiago Jiménez – saxofón