Quetzal Wins 2013 Grammy for “Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Abum” for Imaginaries

Quetzal Red Carpet Grammy Award

Musical group Quetzal poses backstage with its award for Latin rock, urban or alternative album for “Imaginaries” at the 55th Grammy Awards. (Matt Sayles / Invision / Associated Press)

By Reed Johnson, February 10, 2013, 4:50 p.m. | Source: LATimes.com

Quetzal, the L.A. band that weaves together funk, rock and regional Mexican folk-music varietals such as son jarocho, has won the Grammy for Latin rock, urban or alternative album.

Quetzal won for its release “Imaginaries” (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings), a characteristically ambitious foray into cumbia, neo-’80s-style R&B, Cuban charanga and Brazilian pandeiro, charged with the band’s collectivist political passion. It is the band’s first Grammy.

Quetzal was one of a number of L.A. bands to emerge from the cultural trial-by-fire of L.A.’s 1992 riots, along with such other Chicano fusionists as Ozomatli, Lysa Flores and Aztlan Underground.

In an interview with The Times last year, band co-founder Quetzal Flores re-affirmed the band’s continuing commitment to using music as a tool for building, and re-building, community.

“This band functions as a core unit but it also functions as a family. And everybody in the band past and present is still a part of our family,” said Flores, the son of farmworker-organizer social activists.

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