The journey of Los Lobos began in 1973, when David Hidalgo (vocals, guitar and pretty much anything with strings), Louie Perez (drums, vocals, guitar), Cesar Rosas (vocals, guitar) and Conrad Lozano (bass, vocals, guitarrón) earned their stripes playing revved-up versions of Mexican folk music in restaurants and at parties. The band evolved in the 1980’s as it tapped into L.A.’s burgeoning punk and college rock scenes. They were soon sharing bills with bands like the Circle Jerks, Public Image Ltd. and the Blasters, whose saxophonist, Steve Berlin, would eventually leave the group to join Los Lobos in 1984.
Early on, Los Lobos enjoyed critical success, winning the GRAMMY® for Best Mexican-American Performance for Anselma from its 1983 EP …..And a Time to Dance. A year later, the group released its full-length, major-label debut, How Will the Wolf Survive? Co-produced by Berlin and T-Bone Burnett, the album was a college rock sensation that helped Los Lobos tie with Bruce Springsteen as Rolling Stone’s Artist of the Year.
A major turning point came in 1987 with the release of the Ritchie Valens biopic, La Bamba (ABOVE LEFT). The quintet’s cover of Valens’ signature song topped the charts in the U.S. and the U.K. Rather than capitalize on that massive commercial success, Los Lobos chose to record La Pistola y El Corazón, a tribute to Tejano and Mariachi music that won the 1989 GRAMMY® for Best Mexican-American Performance.
That kind of sharp artistic turn has become Los Lobos’ trademark, serving to both fuel the band’s creativity and keep its fans engaged. In 1992, that willingness to defy expectations led them to record Kiko, an adventurous album produced by Mitchell Froom that’s considered by many to be one of the band’s very best.
Since then, Los Lobos has continued to deliver daring and diverse albums such as Colossal Head (1996), Good Morning Aztlán (2002), The Town and the City (2006), Tin Can Trust (2010) and Gates of Gold (2015). On top of that, the band’s live shows never disappoint, as documented on the recent concert records Live at the Fillmore (2005) and Disconnected in New York City (2013). Through the years, they have managed to keep things interesting with unexpected side trips like an album of Disney songs in 2008, along with countless contributions to tribute albums and film soundtracks. One of those – Mariachi Suite from the 1995 film Desperado – earned the band a GRAMMY® for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
Los Lobos has sold millions of records, won prestigious awards, and made fans around the world. But perhaps its most lasting impact will be how well its music embodies the idea of America as a cultural melting pot. In it, styles like son jarocho, norteño, Tejano, folk, country, doo-wop, soul, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and punk all come together to create a new sound that’s greater than the sum of its parts. And now Los Lobos is scheduled to visit The Bilheimer Capitol Theatre in Destination Tampa Bay ™ next February.
The Bilheimer Capitol Theatre Ticket Office will open one hour prior to show time. The Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre presents multiple GRAMMY® Award-winners Los Lobos on Saturday, February 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets priced at $59, $49 and $35 will only be available by visiting www.RuthEckerdHall.com. For more performances “at the Cap” read more on Spyro Gyra here.
The Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, located in downtown Clearwater’s Cleveland Street District, was constructed in 1921 and is one of Florida’s oldest operating theaters. In 2019, industry trade publication Pollstar named the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre the #1 club venue in Tampa, #1 in Florida, #3 in the United States and #3 in the world of club venues with 800 seats or less. In 2013, the theater underwent a complete $10 million renovation and is the catalyst for downtown Clearwater development.
In 2019, Nancy and David Bilheimer donated $2.5 million to Ruth Eckerd hall as part of the theatre’s ongoing “Expanding the Experience” Capital campaign. In recognition of the generous donation, the Capitol Theatre’s name was changed to the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre.
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