Core Band Members:
- Andres Levin - Guitar, Electronics, MD
- CuCu Diamantes - Vocals
- Xiomara Laugart - Vocals
- Pedro Martinez - Percussion, Vocals
- El Chino - Vocals
- Sebastian Steinberg - Bass
- Terreon Gully - Drums
- Skoots Warner - Drums
With a core musical cast that comes from Cuba, Venezuela, St. Thomas, Colombia, Brazil and the U.S., Yerba Buena (which means ‘Good Grass’ or ‘Good Weed” and was the original name of the city of San Francisco) is most often described as a ‘collective’ of musicians rather than just a band; live concerts often include special guests such as John Leguizamo, Les Nubians, Orishas, M1 of Dead Prez, Gogol Bordello – well, the list goes on.
At the Helm - Andres Levin:
Andres Levin arrived from Venezuela in 1989. In the ensuing years, he wrote and produced music for artists like Chaka Khan, Tina Turner and David Byrne. More recently he became involved in the Latin alternative music world, producing albums for Aterciopelados and Los Amigos Invisibles, among others.
Yerba Buena's debut album, President Alien (a wordplay on Levin's status as a 'resident alien'), was released in 2003, and was an immediate succes as well as earning a Grammy nomination as Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album. The 12-track President Alien also included a list of guest artists including Brazilian percussionist Carlinhos Brown, jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove,rapper Sticman of Dead Prez and keyboardist Money Mark.
Island Life was released in 2005 and cements Yerba Buena's reputation as a group that continues to evolve. With surprises like the double entendres in "Bilingual Girl" ("two tongues are better than one")and the hilarious "Bla Bla Bla", an ode to empty rhetoric with some great bloopers by President Bush, there's a novel idea, lyric or musical fusion with every track. Yerba Buena's music is hot, fun and very, very danceable. It's not surprising that Island Life's "Sugar Daddy" was nominated for the 2006 Billboard Latin Music Awards in the "Latin Dance Club Play Track of the Year" category.
So don't just sit there. Listen to Yerba Buena and have some fun!