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‘Zydeco kind of blues’: Dos Gatos to perform as part of state-sponsored virtual concert series

Felix Peralta, left, and DB Gomez make up Dos Gatos. A virtual concert featuring the duo will be shown Friday, May 8, on Department of Cultural Affairs-affiliated Facebook pages. (Courtesy of Gato Malo Productions)

Dos Gatos will have you toe-tapping and dancing in your living room on Friday, May 8.

The local duo, made up of Felix Peralta and DB Gomez, recently filmed a concert at the National Hispanic Cultural Center as part of the “Our Fair New Mexico – Virtual Concert Series” presented by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with state museums, historic sites and cultural institutions. Viewers can log on to facebook.com/newmexicohistoricsites to view the show, which begins at 7 p.m. Friday, May 8.

“We do a lot of originals, but we do some covers,” Peralta said of the concert. “It’s really eclectic, since the accordion is an all-around-the-world kind of thing, so we play like a gypsy jazz-New Orleans swing style, and then we’ll play one of our originals which is a New Mexico polka, and one of the songs called ‘Nuevo Mexico’ that I wrote. Usually a lot of people really love that song. … We’ll play two polkas, we’ll play some waltzes, New Orleans swing, and a lot of stuff is our original stuff.”

Dos Gatos tours around the country playing its style of zydeco music, an upbeat genre that originated among French creole speakers in Louisiana.

“It’s our own kind of brand of (zydeco), since we are from New Mexico,” Peralta said. “They seem to like it everywhere. We’ve played in Shreveport, (Louisiana). We’ve played in Chicago. We’ve played pretty much all over the country – zydeco kind of blues. That’s how we started, was kind of blues. We love blues, and that’s kind of the foundation of the music that we play, and then it just kind of evolved.”

Peralta and Gomez have been playing together for about 20 years. They are also part of a four-piece band called Felix y Los Gatos. Dos Gatos began with New Mexico polka-style music and was introduced to zydeco on the internet.

“(Gomez) said, ‘Thank God for YouTube and the internet now,” Peralta said. “We can go around the world and listen to music, and that’s kind of what we started doing. We just mixed it all together.”

The zydeco style is Dos Gatos’ own mixture. Its song “Green Chile Gumbo” compares New Orleans to Santa Fe, with their distinct musical styles and lively cultures.

“Definitely, we kind of mix in all kinds of stuff,” Peralta said. “We saw people dancing, and we were getting more gigs, and we were, like, ‘Hmm, we’re on to something.’ ”

Playing big city events and festivals throughout the state has put Dos Gatos and Felix y Los Gatos on the map. The duo is working on an album to be released soon. For now, the bands’ music can be heard on several music platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. Their albums are available for purchase at felixylosgatos.com.

Filming a concert at the National Hispanic Cultural Center without a live audience was new territory for Dos Gatos. But the duo is happy to be sharing its music virtually.

“Of course, we feed off the people and the energy of the crowd, and that’s what we’re always used to, but in these circumstances, I think we all have this good feeling like we’re going to bring the music to the people at home, and this is a good thing right now for what everyone is going through,” Peralta said. “So we want to share our music. We still want to be out there sharing it. It was a good experience.”

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