By Jorge Fuentes
Click aqui para español->Mofongo
If you are craving new live performances of Latin music in our city, just order Mofongo!
Mofongo is the most recent project of Spanish singer, Corina Hernandez. Corina visited New Orleans for the first time during her honeymoon a few years ago. Since then, her visits have been more frequent, and her stays lasted a bit longer. Her longest stay resulted in her permanent residence in New Orleans when she, together with her husband, also a musician, decided to move into the city.
Their decision was presumably an easy one. After living in different parts of Europe, Brazil, and New York, Corina discovered a musical gem, stating “I have never been in a place that appreciates music as a part of life so much like here”.
Since their relocation, Corina and her husband, Coyote Anderson, a guitarist and composer, have devoted their craft to performing exclusively live.
First, they created the duo The Co and Co Traveling Show, with the intention of refining their musical abilities in a style that dates back to the earliest decades of the 1900s. In their duo, Corina plays u-bass and sings, while Coyote plays the guitar and a suitcase-made drum.
Their latest project focuses on the salsa genre. Corina said, “[we] wanted to contribute; we noticed how Latin music is well-received here”. She also added that there are eight members in the band and that Mofongo plays themes from Hector Lavoe, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Ruben Blades, and Celia Cruz, among others.
“I grew up surrounded by this music and I always dreamed of having this kind of band”, says Corina. Anderson plays the base and composes for the band. He notes that “[it] is an ongoing challenge because we keep ourselves very busy, but we are musically fulfilled”.
Mofongo Latin Band started booking regular gigs on Frenchmen Street and the dancing crowds have followed. Dancers prefer to dance to live music as opposed to pre-recorded music, so Mofongo draws large crowds.
And why the name “Mofongo”? Corina explains that this namesake Puerto Rican food staple represents a mixture of flavors, which fits the principle of New Orleans’s culture. But the ultimate reason may very well be revealed when she says, “I think [it] is so much fun to say it out loud: MOFONGO!”
It is tradition for musicians to have a catchy word or phrase to yell as they are playing their music. A famous example of this is demonstrated by the legendary Celia Cruz in the salsa scene from the popular movie Celia Cruz - Azúcar! Corina honors that tradition with her musical talent and affirms there is no better way to do this than by choosing “a word that means something delicious”.
To find updates on where to find Mofongo’s live performances, you can follow Mofongo Latin Band on Facebook.