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Meet Jimmy Cisneros

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jimmy Cisneros.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Since I was a kid, I always knew I wanted to be a musician. It’s what I’ve grown up with my whole life due to my Dad being a musician. Most kids go to the park to play and socialize but not me. My playgrounds were stages and venues. My friends were stage crews and road techs. I remember being like 5 or 6 and my dad would sit me down behind a drum set and give me a pair of sticks and let me beat those drums till I got tired. Only problem is once I got home I would use those sticks on the couch, the kitchen chairs and that didn’t always end too good. LOL! I was born in Mexico in ’85 and grew up in Highland Park in the ’90s so on top of having my dad’s musical influence, I also had the sounds and the culture from the neighborhood around me. Whether it was a banda at our next-door neighbor’s house, the speakers bumping from the cars outside or the Sunday morning cleaning soundtrack our Moms listen to, it all helped mold me into the musician that I am today.

By the time I hit middle school music became solidified as part of my everyday routine. Throughout high school, I became heavily involved with music both in marching band, jazz ensemble and had my own band made up of a couple of friends from school. By the time I graduated, I had marched in The Rose Parade four years in a row, Played at every University across the state, performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, performed in Hawaii and had won so many of my high schools battle of the bands they didn’t let us perform anymore! LOL! All those experiences gave me great memories and definitely gave me an early glance at the balance that was to keep me centered on my endeavors as a musician. After I graduated, I was a drumline instructor for a couple of years for LAUSD until I found my other calling. Fun Fact: my Dad is a musician and my Mom is a cosmetologist and I somehow inherited both genes. Therefore, I have been a barber in the Eagle Rock/Glendale area for 12 years and counting. I’m grateful and definitely blessed to have been given two different skills that keep giving me opportunities to stay in constant creation. I always tell my clients that the barbershop is the venue, my tools are my instruments, the haircut is the performance and when the client stands up at the end, that’s the standing ovation! It all goes hand in hand.

Please tell us about your art.
I am an L.A. based musician currently playing timbales/2nd vocalist for La Chamba. We are the creators of a genre we call “Chicha Angelina” which is heavily rooted in the sounds of 1970’s Peruvian Cumbia or better known as psychedelic cumbia. I also play percussion with Introverted Funk and Chrisol y Los Efectos who are projects here in L.A. In addition to these bands, I have also worked with- Buyepongo, Changui Majadero, El Conjunto Nueva Ola, Viento Callejero, Twin Seas, Welfair and The Altons. Although everyone knows me as a drummer/percussionist, truth is I’m a multi-instrumentalist. I play guitar in various styles, bass, piano along with an array of other miscellaneous instruments. I also began producing and composing music three years ago this led to my involvement in La Chamba’s 2nd album “SOMOS”. This allowed me to dive in deeper into the behind the scenes creative process that comes with building an album. It allowed me to learn about recording which was for me next level! I know how to play all these instruments and now I get to capture all these sounds? I set out to learn as many instruments as I could because I was tired of asking for help. Wait, I take that back… I was tired of asking for people’s time. I now had the ability to create and capture on my own terms and my own time. I think in the end it’s about finding something you’re crazy about and diving into the rabbit hole head first and learning to accept everything that comes with the territory. Most importantly, surround yourself around people who help fuel you through the creative process. I’m lucky to say I have a lot of talented people in my corner who continue to help with the constant flow of knowledge, motivation and creation.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
The role of an artist, in my opinion, is to go out and help people let loose the tension and the stress that comes with the everyday grind. The role of an artist has always been to capture the attention of the public through expression. As an entertainer, my role is to keep your attention sparked for however long my performance is and to make sure that when the show is over you walk away with some weight lifted off your shoulders. Whether it’s because you cried singing to a song or danced all night long. Maybe the song you sang at the top of your lungs was about fighting for your rights, maybe the song you danced to was about heartache. Any current event on any scale or level can be used to create on any artistic platform. Music is the people’s news!

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can help support by coming out to a show and experiencing any one of the projects I work with, you can also stream La Chamba across all music platforms and you can keep up with the latest and greatest on my socials. You can also follow @lachambamusic @introvertedfunk and @chrisol_ to keep up with future shows!

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Image Credit:
85photography, Red Heart Media, Redemption Photography, koalapeter89

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