Best Latin Band (2006)

Skampida

Skampida is as Skampida sounds: a stampede of positive Colombian ska that tramples right over you with energetic horns, rap solos, and pounding punky drums, all salted with traditional Colombian genres like cumbia and champeta. The nine-member band made its grand entrance into Miami last year with a bang of good vibes that quickly led to nightly collaborations with other bands on the Latin funk scene, including Locos Por Juana and Suenalo Sound System. In fact Skampida's openness and camaraderie is exactly what gives the group its unique sound. Back in Colombia, the bandmates collaborated with street musicians on the margins of society, often participating in festivals to help the poor. When they arrived as broke immigrants in Miami, that same commitment to the public paid off here. Skampida went from being a virtual stranger to an overnight success by continually passing the mike off to colleagues and fans as the band members improvised the music in the background. "The universe works for them because they work for the universe," commented Lizzie Easton, promoter of the Latin Funk Festival.