In 2006, three musicians from across the globe found themselves in the Bay Area --scouring Craigslist for other like-minded musicos, ready to take their musicianship to a different level-- and though they didn't know it at the time, these folks were on the verge of creating a previously unknown style of music: CumbiaDub. Bassist Daniel Yockey (Wisconsin), conguero Carlos Mario Aguirre (Colombia) and gaitero Adley Penner (Canada) met while playing with Colombian folklore group, Aluna. Inspired by the raw, rootsy rhythms of cumbia, yet growing restless with only playing covers, they began to experiment with the style. They applied dub studio techniques and reggae style bass lines to traditional cumbia and other Colombian rhythms, developing a completely unique style of dance music with electronic sensibilities and a live feel. Though this ground-breaking idea was first conceived in 2006, it did not reach full fruition until the autumn of 2009, when Candelaria was formed under its current name in the heart of Oakland, the Fruitvale district.
Along with Daniel and Adley, former Fuga drummer Rafael Herrera, former La Colectiva percussionist Ali Luna, and a previously unknown singer Stephani Garcia Candelaria were welcomed to the group. The band was not fully complete, however, until multi-instrumentalist/producer/recording engineer Jesse Sheehan was added to the line up in 2010. Jesse brought a new dynamic to the band: having studied tabla and bansuri flute while living in India, he helped Candelaria to transcend continental boundaries. With this new lineup locked in, the band’s sound began to evolve. The originally electro-cumbia Latin dance group began to experiment with Indian Ragas, mixing African highlife guitar lines with reggaeton and dancehall beats, combining tablas and Colombian gaita flutes. While still rooted in cumbia and reggae, Candelaria began to develop a unique sound all their own.
Three years later, Candelaria is still a true independent band. They are cutting edge by going back to basics. While many other world dance bands are drifting further away from live performance and into the realm of computer driven programmed beats and effects, Candelaria has gone the opposite direction. All of their music, as well as recordings, are performed live and all effects are done in real time. The main focus is always on the keeping the dance floor hot and the party moving.
Candelaria is at the forefront of the global cumbia-fusion movement. Having shared the stage with such musical giants as Jimmy Cliff, Los Amigos Invisibles, Celso Piña, Diego's Umbrella, Junior Toots, Bituaya, Black Nature of the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, and La Santa Cecilia, and featuring present and past members from Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, El Salvador, Canada, Malaysia, and Peru, Candelaria truly reflects the beauty of the multicultural world we live in today and the diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area.