Music

COVID survivors Maria y Cien Grados release new cumbia “Vamos a Bailar”

While members of the Austin-based band are recovering from COVID-19, the latest single from their upcoming debut album has been released.

“Vamos a Bailar” is the latest single from up and coming Austin-based group Maria y Cien Grados. Since their beginning back in 2016, listeners and fans have watched the band grow and mature, developing their sound into a Tejano cumbia machine in live performances and in the studio. 

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Maria y Cien Grados is fronted by vocalist and Victoria native Maria Villarreal-Fraga, who is following in the footsteps of her talented musical family by pursuing her dream of being a singer. The regular lineup for this percussion-heavy ensemble includes husband Jose on timbales, Mauricio Guzman on congas, Anthony Hernandez on drums, Isidoro Matamores on bass, Miguel Mancilla on keyboard, along with Roberto Mamalon as second vocals. 

“Vamos a Bailar” is an original cumbia written by longtime friend and multi-instrumentalist Juan Zea Garcia (who also served as co-producer) and Jose Luis Fraga, featuring special guest Xavier Mota on congas. Chris Garcia of Aim Records supported the project as executive producer. 

And how does it sound, you ask? “Vamos a Bailar” lives up to its title and is an undeniably danceable delight that grabs the listener from the first beat and doesn’t let go. Maria’s voice floats above the rhythm, alternating with Mamalon’s hip-hop inspired second vocals from verse to verse, complimenting each other very well. Before you know it, three minutes have gone by and you feel almost hypnotized. So you play it again.

Maria Y Cien Grados — “Vamos a Bailar”
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On a personal note, this band has a lot of heart and they have had their struggles just as many bands have, especially those just starting out. However, this summer was especially difficult. Just after releasing this track, both Maria and Jose battled COVID-19 at the same time, requiring them both to be hospitalized for over a week each. They were in separate hospitals, both fighting for their lives, away from their children and family. Fortunately, they were eventually released from the hospital and continue to recover at home. 

“Vamos a Bailar” is currently available for sale and streaming on all digital platforms under Maria y 100 Grados and will be released on the group’s debut album next year. Follow Maria y Cien Grados on Facebook and Instagram for more information and updates.

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I manage all things technical, administrative, and creative at Austin's own Rancho Alegre, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Conjunto music. Our projects include digitizing recordings, interviewing legendary and up-and-coming artists, maintaining and constructing a historical record of Tejano and Conjunto music, connecting artists with professional and business services, and presenting the annual Rancho Alegre Conjunto Festival and various events throughout the year.

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