Undoubtedly the finest and funkiest latin orchestra to come out of the United States in the last decade... here's an update:
As Grupo Fantasma prepares for a busy fall packed with festival and club dates, the Latin collective is still riding the momentum from their critically acclaimed performances with Prince in London this past August, their first trip overseas, and in front of 20,000 people. The band's relationship with the legendary artist began with a two month Thursday night stint at the musical giant's Las Vegas nightclub 3121 and a hip-shaking performance at his mega-celeb filled Golden Globes after party where the band was joined on stage by Mary J. Blige, Mark Anthony, and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. Fantasma opened for Prince in front of 8,000 fans in Miami, Florida and served as his backup band at several high profile events including the CBS Superbowl Bash in South Beach, the ALMA Awards (airing on national television), and an exclusive private party in their hometown of Austin, TX. "He's put a lot of faith in us" says Grupo guitarist and co-founder Adrian Quesada in a recent magazine interview. "He's telling us that what we're doing is right." And now with the support of a new friend and advocate, Prince, it looks like the Latin powerhouse is set to expand their horizons. Quite an endorsement for a band that is set to play close to 150 dates this year.
"They're the best band in Austin" confesses Austin Chronicle and Village Voice music critic Jim Caliguiri as Fantasma takes home its sixth straight ‘Best Latin Band' title at this years' Austin Music Awards. "The only other band I've seen get that kind of audience reaction was the Ramones…with all of their releases the band has become even more adventurous, mixing styles in ways that are unexpected but ruled by the groove. This group of enthusiastic youngsters has grown into a monstrous and masterful ensemble that has sold more than 20,000 discs independently. Their chops and confidence continue to grow but the raw, boisterous attitude remains. The band successfully obliterates the clichés that often plague the current Latin music market, all the while keeping their feet firmly planted in the traditions that they love and deeply respect."