Pan Caliente: La Cumbre Session (Documentary Short)

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The 1960’s gave rise to a very particular and unique sub-genre of cumbia in South America. It combined the electric guitars of the rock ‘n roll generation with the traditional Andean music of Peru. It also employed the use of synthesizers for its melodies over the more traditional accordions utilized in Colombian cumbia.


Peruvian cumbia, or chicha as it’s more affectionately called, has always been somewhat popular in and around South America. It overlaps with surf rock, psychedelic rock and Amazonian sounds. However, in the last 10 years or so, chicha has experienced an unexpected renaissance in the United States.

Bands like Chicha Libre from Brooklyn, La Chamba Chicha from LA, Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquestra from Chicago, and Money Chicha* out of Austin, have demonstrated that this infectious style of cumbia, has an audience in the States and could possibly grow into a strong musical movement with many other bands in the wings.

It is why today we bring you the premiere of a short documentary which features the latter of the two bands. Both from very distinct parts of the U.S., whose love for chicha music has inspired them to collaborate on a recording session, documented here in this short. The successful partnership has spawned a tour around the country so the psychedelic sounds can be propagated to those who have never heard them before.

“Creating the 2017 Chicha Summit tour and the ‘Summit Sessions’ recording was a collaborative effort from start to finish. Both projects not only highlight organic heavy-weight sounds performed by some of the most talented musicians playing the cumbia genre in the United States, but also represent a communal spirit of camaraderie and creative empowerment through music and fellowship at a political moment when both are desperately needed,” commented Alex Chavez, from Dos Santos.

The 7″ vinyl will be released this fall on Sonorama Discos, with pre-orders and digital download at the Chicha Summit shows.

*It’s also worth noting that Money Chicha is the side, side project of a couple of the members from the Grammy award wining band Grupo Fantsma, as well as members of Austin based, Brownout.