Ten albums and more than 20 years later, the party hasn't stopped for the Venezuelan group Los Amigos Invisibles, which has graced stages in 60-plus countries worldwide since its inception. Made up of vocalist Julio Briceño, percussionist Mauricio Arcas, bassist José Rafael Torres, and drummer Juan Manuel Roura, the band delivers a particular blend of acid jazz, disco, and funk that has earned it various Grammy nominations, including two wins for Best Latin Alternative Album and Best Rock Album.
Bassist José Rafael Torres recently spoke with New Times about the band's upcoming Miami gig, recent musical explorations, and how the band has coped with the absence of keyboardist Armando Figueredo and guitarist José Luis Pardo.
New Times: What has Los Amigos Invisibles been working on since the 2013 release of Repeat After Me?
José Rafael Torres: We just finished working on an album/DVD titled Acústico where we explore acoustic as well as live versions of some of our successful releases. The concert at the Fillmore on October 9 will be in promotion of that.
The Fillmore show is certainly not your first concert in Miami. What does the band love most about the city?
At the moment, I am the only one in the band who does not live in Miami. For the rest of the band, the beach and the large Hispanic culture were important factors in their decision to move.
Two original members left the band last year. How has this change affected the group and its sound?
The new musicians have been able to model the band's sound in the best way possible. The biggest challenge will come in the following year when we go in to record the new album. We feel that we are on solid ground, but the fans ultimately have the final vote.
A lot has happened for the band since the formation of Los Amigos Invisibles in the early '90s. You've earned international acclaim and released several albums, some of which even received Grammy recognition. How have you progressed as a group?
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Today we are all much more complete as artists, with more control and knowledge of the music as well as our surroundings.
What's in store for the audience at your upcoming show?
Despite being an acoustic concert, the show will still have the traditional dance-party vibe. Also, this time, many Venezuelan artists that we admire a lot will accompany us onstage.