Las Cruces has its fair share of hometown heroes, musically speaking. Few, however, have the longevity and continued success of Latin powerhouse Nosotros. Having just taken home their eighth New Mexico Music Award, the band that had its humble beginnings as what founder Randy Sanchez terms “a four piece acoustic project in Las Cruces” will return home on Saturday, June 20 to kick off their third decade as one of the state’s premiere musical acts. And this time, they’re doing it for a good cause.
It’s been a wild ride, Sanchez admits, but one that is solidly defined by this year’s NMMA winner for Best Latin Song, “Aqui y Alla,” which translates to “Here and There.” Featured as a bonus track on last year’s 20th anniversary compilation “XX,” it will figure prominently in the next phase of the band’s evolution.
“That song kind of shows the sound the band has evolved into,” Sanchez said. “We’re currently working on our next album. We’re about three quarters of the way through, but I feel like that song best shows what the sound is going to be like.”
To create the proper “vibe” for the new album, the band – consisting of Sanchez on guitar, Felipe Ruibal on lead vocals, Dennis Jasso on drums, Gilbert Uribe on bass, Manual Ramirez on saxophone, David Weeks on trumpet and Shane Derk on lead guitar – will bring in session percussionists Nick Baker, known in the industry for his mastery of world rhythms, and Las Cruces local Michael Trujillo to help advance the project.
There will also be a few surprises.
“What we’re trying to do with this new album is sort of incorporate the sound of some of the musicians we’ve worked with over the years,” Sanchez said. “We’re trying to pull together a few people here and there who have influenced us and can add a little flavor to our album.”
For those who may have caught Nosotros last November, when the Rio Grande Theater hosted their 20th anniversary tour, Sanchez said they can expect something a little different this time around.
“We enjoyed how the audience sat and listened to our story during that concert, but this time we want to have more of a party atmosphere,” he said. “We’ll probably be jumping between the years and the genres that we cover as we go along, but we will also be performing a few songs from the new album, for sure.”
This concert also addresses an issue the band feels is very important, not only to the community in southern New Mexico, but nationwide, as well. Teaming up with the Doña Ana Arts Council and Casa de Peregrinos Food Bank, the theme of the evening will be “Feed The Body And Soul.” Also involved will be Project Mainstreet, which will organize a food truck roundup outside the Rio Grande Theatre from 6 to 10 p.m. Proceeds from the event will help Casa de Peregrinos continue its mission to feed the hungry in Doña Ana County.
“A lot of our music is sort of universal in its meaning,” Sanchez said. “We talk about love, we talk about problems that everybody has. I think trying to present something like this is really important to all of us. We believe everybody has the right to eat. No child should be without food.”
Sanchez hopes to see many old friends and family come out for the show at the Rio Grande Theatre, along with those who may not yet have experienced their award-winning musical stylings, but he also hopes the band’s presence will draw attention to this very real issue.
“We would hope that this would be something everybody can relate to,” he said. “We can’t conquer the world’s problems, but we can help, one place at a time, by bringing awareness to groups like Casa de Peregrinos. That’s definitely what we’re looking to do.”
This article originally appeared in the Pulse section of the Las Cruces Sun-News on Thursday, June 18, 2015. All Rights Reserved.