By Mariana Zamboni, 16, Hamilton HS (Los Angeles)
Print This Post
Mariana says LA Carpool combination of salsa and rock is muy calienté.

Do you know what happens when worlds collide? A fusion of Latin music explodes, this is what LA Carpool has to offer.

LA Carpool, a new band from Los Angeles, just released their first album "When Worlds Collide." LA Carpool’s rhythm can be described as pop-rock/salsa with English lyrics, like a mixture of Santana and Marc Anthony.

Catchy lyrics and danceable rhythm is what you can find in LA Carpool. To choose only one favorite song would be a very difficult decision. The CD gets better with each song, but I’ll have to say that the first four are just amazing. "Mi Guajira," "Oye Garcia," "Simpatico" and "Incognito" have strong salsa rhythm. Seems like you can find many different sounds in one CD. We mentioned salsa already, but there’s also some flamenco, rhythms that come from Spain with the song "Bailarina" and pop with "Undertow, Hang On Sloopy" and "Like They Say in L.A." I first heard of the band from my friend Jack, whose dad Rick Ryan is the lyricist. He helped me get in touch with other LA Carpool members.

One of the many aspects that really amazes me about LA Carpool is the different cultural exchanges that occur behind this project. Frank Garcia from Cuba plays the guitar and sings, plus he also co-wrote most of the songs with Rick Ryan. Jack Gold, who is white, is the producer and also plays the congas and percussion. Freddie Crespo, a Puerto Rican, plays timbales and percussion. John Douglas, also white, plays the piano, and Jerry Rusch plays the trumpet. Faith Rivera, the lead singer of LA Carpool is Filipina-American from Hawaii. She feels very proud to be a part of LA Carpool.

"Although the culture and music is new to me, when I sing and dance to this kind of music it just feels so natural— it’s expanded my own musical ideas about myself, and allowed me to experiment, to combine my pop/R&B background with the pulsating rhythms of Latin music," Faith said.

LA Carpool’s band members aren’t the only ones who are diverse. Their listeners come from many different countries.

"We get crazy messages from all over the world … Israel to Argentina to good old Americans from east and west coast—saying how it’s different, how it’s authentic salsa, but very commercial, pop and pleasing to all ears!" Faith said.

I have always loved Latin music, but I never listened to salsa all the time because it’s romantic danceable music, where you need a partner to dance with. But with LA Carpool, it makes you dance even if you are alone. The rock guitar makes a catchier sound which distinguishes LA Carpool’s rhythm.

LA Carpool has been recognized by the Latin charts. Their songs "Azuquita," "Mi Guajira," "Oye Garcia," "Simpatico" and "Incognito" have occupied top spots for a long time. Their motto is, "We make salsa rock," and they unconditionally do.