About three years ago Lautaro Mantilla and I were sitting at Three Sheets in New Haven, enjoying a pre-gig beer, talking about starting a project that took cumbia as a starting point. I then brought the idea to longtime collaborator, Michael Balser Paolucci, knowing from our work in Dr. Caterwauls that he was already practicing a bunch of cumbia rhythms. After a whole lot of listening to a whole lot of cumbia, especially the Discos Fuentes catalog and the guitar heavy cumbia of Peru, some music began to take shape. In mid 2019, in the midst of conversation about this nascent project, Kelly L’Heureux and Dave Parmelee expressed an enthusiasm for being involved. So, with some music just about ready and an ask from Conor Perreault about playing a gig we got our shit together, settled on a band name, and will be testing this thing out live, this Sunday, 3/1, at NG2BC in New Haven. The band name is Cucayo. The band is Kelly L’Heureux (keyboards), Lautaro Mantilla (bass), Michael Balser Paolucci(drums), Dave Parmelee (percussion), and myself on guitar.