AOEA Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
05 Oct 2012 | WORLD

villalobos brothers


Contemporary High-Octane Mexican Fiddling

Winners of the Battle of the Boroughs, NPR’s flagship competition in Manhattan, sponsored by The Greene Space in collaboration with WNYC and WQXR.

First band from Mexico to ever play the Apollo Theater as Featured Guest Artist

Winners of the Vox-Pop Award at the Independent Music Awards
in the World Beat category for best song: “El Pijul”.

“I am glad I lived long enough to see you! This is amazing! All I can say is, I hope the world gets to experience this. Before starting you said something very important, you said: “we try to embody the miracle of music”…well, you certainly are a carrier of that disease…may we all catch it!…I don’t know what else to say, I am speechless!”

– Marion J. Caffey, Producer, Apollo Theatre

“I loved your style of music. The blend was amazing, the band was tight, it kept me going… I felt like I was part of the band, except I was sitting out here. I didn’t understand a word you were saying, but I felt it! where can I buy your CD? For real!”

– Steve Pageot, Grammy Award Winner

“Oh my God, that was fantastic! Let me tell you something, you guys transformed the environment of the venue…I was exactly where you wanted me to be. Your voices! You’re gonna get this reaction every time you play, and that is an amazing thing. Your music was a tidal wave of fire and it hit you really strong. You have excellent showmanship, but you also have the talent and skill to back it up”

– Alicia Olatuja, Mezzo-Soprano

“I’m speechless, I’m blown away…I have never seen anything like this before…”

-Leital Molad, Senior Producer of WNYC Studio 360

“They played with exuberant intensity for the appreciative audience…with their heads bowed…fingers jumping and feet tapping, they weren’t just playing music, they were living it…”

– Devan Sipher, THE FORWARD.

The Villalobos Brothers (Ernesto, Alberto and Luis) use their violins and voices to redefine contemporary Mexican music. Their original compositions masterfully blend elements of jazz, rock, classical and Mexican folk to deliver a powerful message of love, brotherhood and social justice. Artistic Director and guitarist Humberto Flores, drummer Rosa Avila and bassist Leo Sherman complete the line-up.

The Villalobos Brothers were born and raised in Xalapa, Mexico. They spent their childhood learning classical violin from Henryk Szeryng’s disciple Carlos Marrufo and listening to their grandmother Cristina Vásquez sing traditional songs accompanying herself on the guitar and the accordion. In addition to the violin they soon learned to sing and play other instruments, including piano and guitar.

The group’s virtuosic performances have delighted listeners from Latin America, India and Russia to Lincoln Center’s American Songbook, Carnegie Hall and the Latin Grammy Awards. In 2015 the band signed a contract with SRO Artists for exclusive representation throughout the United States and Canada, and was chosen as Artist in Residence at Lincoln Center, 92nd Street Y, Latino Arts, and the New York Botanical Garden’s record breaking exhibit: “Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life.”

Their work has been recognized by numerous awards, including a Proclamation from the City of New York, the Vox Populi Award by the Independent Music Awards and the Ultimate Winners in The Greene Space’s Battle of the Boroughs. Today, the Villalobos Brothers continue to collaborate with legendary musicians, including Grammy winners Arturo O’Farrill, Antonio Sanchez, Eduardo Magallanes, Dan Zanes and many others.

About the album: “Aliens of Extraordinary Ability”

“A crazy ball of sound: Mexican coastal traditions meet Sam Cooke in the Bronx!”

– Dan Zanes, Grammy Award Winner, USA TODAY.

Aliens of Extraordinary Ability was completed in 2012. The album’s name makes reference to the O-1 artist visas that the three brothers received before moving to the United States. This is the actual status given by the U.S. government to foreign-born artists and athletes. Every arrangement and composition was ripened through multiple shows at the Marble Hill Summer Concert Series, a yearly urban festival curated by the Villalobos Brothers. The album was recorded live at the Carriage House Studios in Connecticut. It was subsequently mixed by Brendan Muldowney and mastered by Ken Rich in Brooklyn.