La Misa Negra is a 7-piece band from Oakland, California, known for their unique blend of heavyweight cumbia and high-energy, Afro-Latin music. On stage, they deliver an electrifying performance that explodes with infectious dance grooves and punk rock energy, powered by horn and accordion-driven riffs, a fierce rhythm section, and a vintage-inspired sound.
Since their live debut in the fall of 2011, La Misa Negra has toured the country, sharing stages and festival bills with the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Wonder, Lenny Kravitz, Thievery Corporation, Mon Laferte, Julieta Venegas, Ana Tijoux, Bomba Estereo, George Clinton, Antibalas, Budos Band, and Ozomatli. On the strength of their wild and one-of-a-kind shows, they have gained a reputation as one of the most exciting live bands to emerge from the Bay Area in recent years, garnering a diverse fan base that transcends musical, cultural, and generational divides.
Founded by composer, guitarist, and accordion player, Marco Polo Santiago, the band consists of Colombian-born Diana Trujillo (lead vocals), Justin Chin (tenor & baritone sax), Morgan Nilsen (tenor sax & clarinet), Craig Bravo (drums & percussion), Elena de Troya (percussion), and Paul Martin Sounder (upright bass & percussion). Together, the unlikely collective combines a wealth of musical influences as diverse as their cultural backgrounds, but it’s Marco Polo’s affinity for hip-hop and heavy metal that inspires much of the band’s sound and identity – evident in their name, on-stage antics, and popular t-shirt designs.