Discover more about Oaxacan music as we present a selection of the city’s best local bands. We’ll start with one of Oaxaca’s most popular groups, Blandas y Tlayudas Band.
What kind of music do you play?
Our music has a base of rocksteady, heavily featured in Jamaican jazz, and we implement touches of reggae, traditional ska, funk and swing.
How do you define yourselves?
We’ve defined ourselves as a band without vocals, the brass instruments create the melodies. We like to play in places where it’s not common for a group of this genre, or a 6 member group, to play.
How many years have you been together, and how did you start?
This April we’ll be celebrating 5 years of Byt Band. Our first showcase was in the Benito Juárez market in the centre of Oaxaca on Easter Thursday, 2012.
Byt Band emerged from the need to be able to make original music and to have a musical project that receives the priority and respect it deserves.
Who are the band members?
Zaira Ávalos – Drums
Alejandro Reyes – Bass
Konk Balam – Guitar
Kunt Vargas – Trombone
Xaab Newex – Trumpet
Jorge Reyes – Keyboard
Where do you live?
We’re based in the centre of the city but we’re from different parts of the state. Facundo Vargas, Konk Balam and Xaab are from Tlahuitoltepec; Jorge Reyes and Alejandro Reyes live in San Antonio de la Cal; and Zaira Avalos is from San Pablo Huitzo.
When you play, what do you feel?
We like playing our songs and realising that little by little, people have come to know them. Performing allows us to express many emotions and ideas and it is hugely satisfying to take the audience to a state of sonic ecstasy in which we can see all the trials, logistics and hard work reflected; the beat of the drums, bass and harmonies create a connection between us that makes us dance and enjoy the work together.
15 de Abril – Byt Bus; 15 de abril – Anniversary party; 22 de Abril – launch of XANA’A in Huajuapan de León; In May we have shows around the state including on the 27th with Antidoping, La Chavez Special Band and Los Chilaquiles; In July we’ve prepared a surprise for you in Mexico City.
Where can we listen to your music and find out more about Byt Band?
If it’s not possible to go to a Byt Band gig you can follow us on the links below.
Saludos to all the Byt Band crew: David Morales, logistics; Angel Villanueva, sound engineer; Jalil Olmedo, photography, and Hector Felix, stage manager.
Saludos to the crew of Qué Pasa Oaxaca and all their readers and followers.
And to our families.