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San Lazaro - San Australian Latiners

Author: 3D
Monday, 10 March 2008
Melbourne ten-piece Latin band san Lazaro represent the very small portion of original oz-based Latin fusion music. 3D chat with their timbales player Nasrine Rahmani, ahead of their not-to-be-missed first national tour.

San Lazaro has a real multi-cultural flavour – your members have backgrounds in Greece, Chile, Spain, Iran, Ireland, Mauritius, India, Australia... Could you tell us about the dynamic and how it works for your music-
Well, most of us have grown up in Australia so even though we share mixed heritages, we have known each other a lot longer than the band has existed. Our tastes in food, dress sense and musical aesthetic do vary drastically though which is what makes the band interesting and unique.  We all share the common interest in creating original cross-genre Latin music.

How did you guys get together- Was it the joining-together of a few different bands-

Some of the guys played together in a funk rock band before San Lazaro and each other member was invited to join by a friend of theirs that they knew from school, TAFE or college. Our lead singer, however, was already gigging in the Latin scene, expressed interest, and came on board straight away. Good Spanish language vocalists are hard to come by, and especially those willing and able to cultivate original material. Over 95 percent of the Latin music being played live in Australia today are covers. We are very proud of Franshesco, his lyrics and what they represent.

What was your history before joining San Lazaro-
Prior to joining the band I had been playing mostly Brazilian and African music and studying jazz, but I fell in love with the timbales about two years ago and haven’t looked back since. They are proving to be one of the most fun instruments to play in the percussion family but also one of the most difficult to conquer.

You’ve made a few recent festival appearances around the nation. What were some the highlights-
We had a great time slot at Queenscliff Music Festival, just after Paul Kelly so we had a pumping show on the Saturday night. Woodford was muddy this year but our four shows were great, particularly on the smaller stages were people could get in close and party with us. Obviously WOMADelaide was a huge break for us, and an absolute pleasure.

Looking forward to your first national tour- Are there any plans to jump into the studio after-
Yeah, some of us saw Veneno when they were in Melbourne recently so having them on board for our Sonar Sydney show will be a real treat. And we always get a lot of love in Adelaide. We’ve been itching to get some of our new material recorded for months now - we have three days off after Bluesfest in Byron so we’ll do some tracking at Studio 301 and see what comes of it. We’re hoping to have a new album out by the end of the year or early 2009.

WHO: San Lazaro
WHAT: Play the Transit Bar, Canberra / Triselies, Katoomba / Sonar, Sydney / Byron Beach Hotel
WHEN: Thursday 13 March / Friday 14 / Saturday 16 / Wednesday 19