Boyle Heights-based singer/songwriter Banana Leaf Boy is the moniker under which José Angel Miranda melds together cumbia and jazz with Latin rock. You’ll be kicking yourself if you miss this (free) opportunity to catch him in concert at Echo Park Rising this weekend at El Clasico Tattoo on Saturday, September 9th. His music intersects the various generational styles that have lain the bedrock for the city’s multi-faceted but inherently Mexican tapestry of music.


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Born in Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico he arrived in the U.S. when he was just 12 years old. In the years since he’s found a burgeoning sense of community within Los Angeles, especially when it comes to fellow artists and singer/songwriters who call the city home.

His debut Live Transmission from the Brown Starship — a live album recorded at Brown Starship Studios — was created with the help of Miranda’s contemporaries and friends. Enlisting the talents of Liliana Burgos (Fake Jazz), Rudy Torres (Mexico City Heartbreak), Hector Flores (Sonido Del Valle), and Francesco Canas. The result was a refulgent collection of eight tracks that envelop his croons in a hazy atmosphere of glowing instrumentals.

His first EP En Casa Con José was a decidedly more kinetic expulsion of alt-pop informed by his Latin roots. With tracks like the riff-scintillating “Boy Weekend” and “Era De Internet” — a charge of subdued electro-funk — revealing his ability to shapeshift between genres with relative ease. Follow-up singles like the buoyant “Adios” revel in the Cumbia Romantica of previous decades, while “Malo Para Mí” sizzles as an ode to the elated rhythms that billow from músical tropical.

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“Luz” is the most recent single to be released by Banana Leaf Boy and represents a poignant shift in his music. Arriving as a lilting acoustic piece that captures a moment of lovelorn via his tender songwriting.

“Tú eres la luz de mi vida, / bendíceme, no me maldigas,” he murmurs softly against the weightless strums and glittering piano keys. “Porque tú no estás ausente / de mis sueños ni de mi mente.” An avid lover of Leonard Cohen and a fervent believer in the power of heartwrenching words layered over a simple guitar melody, the song is another reminder of his immense range as an artist.

See Banana Leaf Boy at Echo Park Rising when they perform at El Clasico Tattoo on Saturday, September 9th (set time 6pm).

Visit Banana Leaf Boy on their Bandcamp and Instagram to stay updated on new releases and tour announcements.

Words: Steven Ward

Listen to “Luz” and other music by Banana Leaf Boy below!

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