La Banda Skalavera is a Southern California Latin ska band formed of 10 musicians with a variety of musical backgrounds. Each member’s distinct style can be credited to their diverse musical upbringings ranging from Mariachi, Norteno, Banda, Salsa, and Cumbias.
LBS (La Banda Skalavera) was formed in South Central Los Angeles in the Summer of 1998 by George (lead Singer) and Alex (bass). However, band members have come from as far away as
San Diego, Riverside, and Palm Springs. Since the summer of 98, LBS has performed everywhere and anywhere the
opportunity has been presented. As one of the first Latin ska bands in LA, initially LBS was not well received in the ska scene. Booking was difficult due to the incorporation of rhythms other than ska. Nonetheless, as exposure increased, this combination of music was easy for the youth of Los Angeles to relate to. Many of the youth, then and today, living in the blighted neighborhoods of Southern California find expression for individual frustrations through the
lyrics and sounds of LBS.
Personal life experiences have enabled the band to write these messages and express the injustices of class divisions within society. George has grown up poor in Los Angeles California and Monterrey Nuevo Leon Mexico; two very different countries, both with very similar social issues. All other band members have in one way or another experienced oppression by dominant social groups, simply because of the socially constructed realities of “race” and “wealth”.
LBS’s lyrics are primarily driven by different issues within
the working-poor and underclass. However, their passion for bringing life to music can only be felt through their live performance.
La Banda Skalavera is Music and music is Life.
La Banda Skalavera is:
George Mercado - Guitar and Vocals
Albert Noriega - Bass
Jaime Cisneros - Drums and Percussion
Gilbert Rodriguez - Trumpet
Bryan Whitaker - Baritone Sax
Matt Pilar - Alto Sax
Jesus "Buddha" Barron - Valve Trombone
Jeff Girard - Slide Trombone
ChiChi Zamora - Percussion
Kyle Armstrong - Keyboard