Los Amigos Invisibles, the Venezuelan funk band from Caracas that relocated to Brooklyn more than eight years ago, will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2011. But the party has already started, with the group enjoying an ever-growing following throughout Mexico, South America and its adopted home country.
In the last three months the band's sixth studio album, Commercial, was released simultaneously in six Latin American countries and the United States; the act also headlined a 13-city tour throughout Venezuela, the first in its native land; closed out a packed tent at the Austin City Limits Music Festival; and was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award, its fifth chance at the trophy.
And there's more to come. The Amigos recorded a September 10 concert at Mexico City's Teatro Metropolitan for a future DVD release. American Troglodyte, a track the band recorded with Norman Cook and David Byrne, will appear on that duo's forthcoming album. And the group is preparing for a summer 2010 concert collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, as part of an upcoming festival curated by friend and fellow Venezuelan cultural ambassador, the L.A. Phil's newly inaugurated musical director, Gustavo Dudamel.
A lot of people are turning their eyes on Venezuelan musicians because of him, says Amigos guitarist/bandleader Jose Luis Pardo. It's like the way people started thinking about Brazilian music when Gilberto Gil, Tom Jobim and all the Tropicalia first emerged on the international stage ... There's a lot of awareness right now, and I think all Venezuelan musicians will be able to thank Gustavo for that for quite a while.