'We're still a family': The Latin Breed celebrates 50 years - Albuquerque Journal

‘We’re still a family’: The Latin Breed celebrates 50 years

The Latin Breed, which is celebrating 50 years of music, will perform a show on Sept. 27 in Albuquerque. (Courtesy of Ruben Cubillos)

In 50 years, The Latin Breed’s roster has undergone some changes.

That’s expected.

What hasn’t changed is the influence and message of the music.

“We’re talking about a band that was founded in 1969 and beat all the odds,” says Ruben Cubillos, former vocalist for the band.

The Latin Breed has grown into one of the most influential Mexican-American bands.

The band was started by Johnny Gonzalez, Frank “Panchito” Ortega, David “Speedy” De La Garza, Frank Valdez, Fidel Perez, Charlie McBurney, Pete Garza, Jimmy Edward and founder/mastermind Rudy Guerra. They formed a horn-dominated Chicano music group with a unique sound.

“The band got national fame with songs that they produced,” Cubillos says. “They were making waves with their brand of Latin music. There are 10 people in the band, and each one of them has their place in creating and keeping up the Latin Breed sound.”

Cubillos spent a few years as the lead vocalist of the band. He now does the band’s interviews.

“When I joined, what was being created was a family,” he says. “All these years later, I’m not singing anymore, but we’re still a family. There is a bond that each one of us creates together. You can’t really shake it. It’s amazing.”

The band is known for its songs such as “Que Chulos Ojos, “Todos Dicen,” “Ay Mujer,” “Cuatro Palabras” and “Triste Camino,” among many others.

Cubillos says the band is working on a new album and expects something to be out during the first quarter of 2020.

In the meantime, the band is going full force in celebrating its 50th anniversary in music.

“What this band has done is create a community,” he says. “The fans have helped keep the band’s legacy alive. Back in the day, after we would have a show, we’d get invited to people’s houses and we’d break bread together. We’d spend all night chatting with them and extending our family. I miss those days. If anything, we can get on stage and perform. That helps bring our family together.”


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