De Tierra Caliente paints a musical mural of the Caribbean, bringing the sound of summer with them everywhere they perform. Listeners are treated to a huge variety of instruments, including the guitar, the bass, the flute, shakers, the jam block, the tambourine, the congas, a cowbell pedal, and the cajón. Each instrument is strikingly effective in creating the band’s jubilant sound, impressively mixing Puerto Rican, Colombian, Brazilian and Philly-style melodies.
The artists of De Tierra Caliente have expertly joined various genres of music, having discovered their individual sound through what makes each band member unique. Bronson Tennis (guitar and lead vocals) hails from Philadelphia, Papo Buda (congas, cajón) is Puerto Rican and raised in Philly, Steve Cochran (bass, backup vocals) is from Delaware County, Caro Canción (minor percussion, backup vocals) is from Colombia, and Eubie Nieves (flute) is Puerto Rican from New York City. The band’s vast range of talents and experiences is definitely a credit to their lively pieces. Bronson says, “The only way for us to play together so well is because we all have such different backgrounds as musicians.” Bronson continues, “Carolina used to play in a punk band and Papo was a percussionist in salsa orchestras his whole life. Our flute player, Eubie, was into classic rock, our bassist, Steve, played in hip hop bands and I grew up listening to The Beatles. We try to respect the roots of the (Caribbean) rhythm and the roots of the music and capture the essence as much as possible in a tasteful way. We just chose our own way of doing the different styles and found a way to fuse them together.”
De Tierra Caliente’s lush tracks are part of a carefully calculated plan to get the listener to fall in love with and explore Caribbean music. Bronson says, “We like to expand people’s horizons and get them so curious that they start investigating genres on their own and go looking into the roots of the rhythms; whether its salsa, samba, merengue.” Bronson continues, “We hope they decide to do some international travel and start listening to the roots of those styles of music, learning about different cultures and getting people to realize it’s ok to relax and enjoy the moment.” De Tierra’s style is audibly tranquil and visually stunning. The artwork featured on De Tierra’s latest album, Traigo Alegría, details rich murals and watercolors that capture the Caribbean in its element.
Hues of bright pink, yellow, baby blues and bright orange beautifully contrast with the regalia of the band, who wear all white on the album cover. Bronson says, “We like to express bright colors with our music and with the way we present ourselves. Spending time in the Caribbean you see the animals, the fruit, the way the houses are painted, they use really bright colors.” Bronson continues, “You don’t really see that in the Northeast. It’s a bit of rebelliousness on our end, bringing bright colors and happy music wherever we go. It’s about people dancing and getting out of their shells. It’s who we are.”