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Chicano Batman isn’t a single person; it’s a band. And it’s not strictly a Latino band; it’s a rich, colorful, melting pot of influences – just like America.

The four-piece from Los Angeles, decked out in vintage 1970s prom wear, formed in 2008 through a common love of Brazilian and Tropicalia musical forms, as well as American psychedelia and straight-up lowrider music.


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Photo: Julian Bajsel for FYF Fest

Chicano Batman

Agent John Bongiorno, in Paradigm’s New York office, got turned on to the band – vocalist Bardo Martinez, bassist Eduardo Arenas, drummer Gabriel Villa and guitarist Carlos Arévalo – first from music blogs. He was intrigued enough just by the name to look into the music. And he was hooked.

“The name jumped out at me and I said, ‘Oh, let me check that out.’” Bongiorno told Pollstar. “I listened to it and I really liked it but, more than that, I found myself really loving them musically. I loved it so much, in my car and in my personal life, that if anybody else was going to do it, I was going to be upset. It had to be me.”

Bongiorno brought Chicano Batman out to play a tiny New York City restaurant – a space so small the guitar amps had to be stacked on top of a piano. He didn’t let them leave town without signing them.

“That was it,” he said. “They have that ’70s, laid-back, lowrider-soul vibe. There’s a lot of psychedelia in there and they have a very progressive approach to arrangements and how certain sounds meld together to evoke a certain kind of emotion that transcends any type of genre or background.


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Photo: Josue Rivas

Chicano Batman

“They really do a terrific job of balancing a bunch of different sounds from all over the world. They definitely have a lot of musical and cultural tricks up their sleeves. Their whole existence is based on the fact that they are everyman, in a way.”

Chicano Batman has been on the road most of 2017, including FYF Festival, Newport Folk Festival, and Summerfest. Dates continue to be announced in primary and secondary markets, and Bongiorno says they are already looking to book festivals next summer.