Art, recycling and consciousness: The story of a group of Latino musicians living in gypsy style
La Scène is a Latin American musical group that is defined as multicultural and collaborative, with a deep environmental awareness and promoter of values, so as to try that humanity, through its art, is more empathic and there’s more solidarity, that it respects equality, freedom of thought, diversity and union between nations.
Based in Panama City, this band is characterized by providing joy and irreverence in its presentations, in which they interact with the public with a circus show that merges the execution of unconventional instruments with the interpretation of Gypsy, Rock, Pop, Blues, Folk, and autochthonous music from Africa and Latin America.
One of the particularities of this group is to make its aesthetic and scenic proposal with recyclable materials, inspired by the vintage esthetic and with the references of fashion that was created between the 1930s and 1970.
At present, La Scène, has a formation of six members: Daniel Pinedo (guitar), Gaby Zapata (Voice and Designer of Fashions), Carlos Lucero (Cuatro), Diego Collado (Trombón), Roderick Zúñiga (Tuba) and Bryan GUMBS (Battery).
Zapata, who is responsible for creating the changing rooms and scenic elements of the group, commented in an interview with RT that her interest for haute couture and music comes from the influence of her great-grandfather, who was a tailor and musician.
«My mom and my aunt are also seamstresses and from when I was very small, I was immersed in that world. When there were leftover fabrics, I always grabbed them and transformed them, that led me to work, since my youth, with my own designs», she says.
Reuse to transform into art
La Scène’s vocalist, as well as the rest of the members of the band, raise their art flag against «unbridled consumerism», due to the negative impact that it generates throughout the planet «without any distinction».
«I have never been a consumerist», Zapata says, «and I am aware of the problem generated by climate change that urges us to attend and understand, as humanity, because we see how all these disasters were originated by ourselves, for not taking care of the planet».
For her, the priority in this juncture is to encourage the savings of raw material and reuse processed products, such as plastics, synthetic and textile materials, beyond recycling.
«The vast majority of people discard something in the trash after a single use, and that ends up contaminating the seas, rivers, beaches, or killing animals from different species and ending the biodiversity of the planet», says the vocalist. . In the face of this, her proposal is «reuse and transform».
And she adds: «I do art and that is what I try to implement with La Scène, that it is not only a costume but also scenography. Thus. we give our contribution to the planet and transform people’s conscious».
The art of doing it «yourself»
For Daniel Pinedo, La Scène has its own «life ideology» and it is based on the sentence: «Do it yourself». A vision that has allowed them to evolve and move forward with their own hands. affirms Pinedo.
«All our music and our audiovisual proposal is made by us. The shows, the performance, the aesthetics, the arrangements and compositions, the recordings, everything, and although it is hard, it fills us with satisfaction».
Pineda pointed out that the group also works with a «collaborative» philosophy with which they have managed to get support ad honorem from musicians, technicians, designers, photographers and professionals from other areas, which share the ideas they seek to project and thus, are part of the group .
«We have friends all over the world, they contribute and help us carry out this beautiful project. La Scène is an opportunity, a relief to counteract so much emptiness in the world and in today’s music, such as reguetón and trap, which only introduce anti values. We are faithful to culture, consciousness, union between nations, equality and solidarity», says Pineda .
How was La Scène formed?
The band, officially, was formed in 2014 when Daniel and Gaby – a couple with two children – decided to formalize the project that had begun with other friends who practiced circus art in Caracas and Barquisimeto, the Venezuelan cities where they were born.
In Panama, they began with presentations on the streets of the capital, playing their own songs and versions of other artists adapted to their style, which allowed them to earn some money to live for two years and meet other musicians from different nationalities, who began to collaborate and contribute their influences to the band.
Musicians from Colombia, Mexico and Germany passed, until in 2018 the third permanent member of the group enters, the Venezuelan Carlos Lucero, originally from the state of Anzoátegui, incorporated the ‘cuatro’ – a Venezuelan stringed instrument – as a leading element to interpret South American and Central American rhythms. adapted to the style of La Scène.
Then three other Panamanian musicians joined. In 2019, Roderick Zúñiga arrived, at the beginning of 2020 Bryan Gumbs entered and at the end of that same year Diego Collado joined the group.
«We have recorded and shared presentations with musicians from Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Panama and from other parts of the world, musicians who come and follow their path but leave their contribution to us. Thus, we have incorporated into the songs instruments such as saxophone, trombone, trumpet, clarinet, flute, among many others”, explains Pinedo.
The most recent song they released – he comments – is particularly special for La Scène. «Magic Powder is a song that defines us, it has a Big Band Jazz arrangement with guest musicians from Chile, Germany, Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, and people who recorded from many parts of the world».
«From town to town»
In the seven years of history, the band has toured different towns in Panama through a particular method that consists of taking their instruments, getting on a bus and reaching different places to play their music in squares (plazas), beaches, streets and festivals.
«We are not stopped by the fact that we do not have a large infrastructure behind us, we go from town to town by bus, playing. This is how we got to the island of Bocas del Toro, where we performed at a Festival and won it”, says Pinedo.
With this triumph, they were awarded with the recording of an album of which they have advanced two songs that sound on their digital platforms: Magic Powder and a version of La vie en rose, a song written by the composers David Mack, Louis Guglielmi and Édith Giovanna Gassion. better known as Édith Piaf.
The recordings of their second album began in January 2021 and they say that it will be «a great circus show, recorded by chapters, as if it were a single story that is discovered as the scenes progress».
The group also has a studio album entitled «A very Gypsy Christmas with La Scène», released in December 2020.
During the pandemic, its members have had to face the phases of confinement and to survive they had to seek income off the stage in different trades.
However, they have already begun to make presentations while resuming the plans they had paralyzed because of the pandemic.