Skip to content

Chicano Rock Group Quetzal Celebrates 30th Anniversary With Collaborative Musical Journey

Quetzal's milestone event at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes showcases 30 years of music, art, and community activism.
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

On August 19, 2023, the Chicano rock group Quetzal will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a collaborative evening of musical performances and visuals that take the audience on a musical journey spanning 30 years and multiple genres. The event is free. Quetzal’s 30th anniversary at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes also includes art installations grounded in legacy. Altar Maestras Ofelia Esparza and Rosana Esparza-Aherns will create an altar installation to further activate the holistic approach of the celebration and compliment Quetzal’s musical catalog as a whole.

Quetzal concert at encuentro in Oventic, Chiapas, Mexico on 1997. For members of Quetzal, music is a resource that lives at the essence of community cultural vitality and transformation. QUETZAL 

Led by Quetzal Flores and Martha Gonzalez, Quetzal is an ensemble of highly talented musicians who first joined forces thirty years ago with the goal of creating good music that tells the tale of their community; the social, cultural, political, and musical struggles of their community.

Born in the aftermath of 1990’s Los Angeles, Quetzal has persistently challenged the music industry over the commerce of music. A Grammy-award-winning artist in their own right, their collective discography reflects the legacy of music from which they are born while honoring the stories, ideologies, and value systems of change-making. Deeper still, Quetzal has been collecting, honoring, and documenting peoples’ struggles and triumphs with their songs and albums. Their lyric, their music, and their engagement in Los Angeles are reflected in their energy and the sonic experiences we receive as audience members.

Community activism being at the root of Quetzal, the local arts community gives its love and appreciation back to Quetzal with special guest performances. The show will also engage the audience with videos of the band across the years including time in Japan, Chiapas, Veracruz, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Most significantly Quetzal remembers and honors their deep collaboration with renowned LA-based artist Jose Ramirez on over 12 album covers.

“You hear students of Chicano rock, rhythm and blues, JB funk, Cuban batá, punk, and Motown soul. You hear a band that has cut its teeth organizing, that has worked to fight forms of oppression in the communities they are connected to. And in pursuit of forging these creative and political bridges, you hear artists who are at the epicenter of the transnational world of son jarocho,” Dr. Alex Chavez states, Describing Quetzal’s influences.

Quetzal’s live shows are filled with moments of tenderness, fervor, and vivid storytelling that transport the audience into a world of affirmation and belonging. Recognized by notable institutions such as the Library of Congress and The Kennedy Center, the traveling exhibit American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute, featured Quetzal as leaders and innovators of Chicano music. This feat coupled with their Grammy Award-winning album on the Smithsonian Folkways label “Imaginaries” (2013) marks the importance of their past and ongoing work.

Produced in association with Latin Heat

Edited by and

“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”

Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.

Check out our free email newsletters

Recommended from our partners