Daniel French

Jarana Player

Los Angeles, United States

Daniel French’s career began with a set of unattended bongos in a church basement. After being encouraged to play the drums by a passing member of the congregation, he dived into congas and djembe and, later, bass and guitar. Today, he plays the jarana, an 8-string guitar from Veracruz, Mexico. He performs primarily with a 7-member band called Las Cafeteras, which plays a mixture of Son Jarocho (Afro-Mexican), cumbia, ska, hip hop, Native American sounds, and some U.S. folk sounds. The band, which has recorded two albums, has been featured on NPR, KCRW (LA), and the LA Times, and tours occasionally, recently at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. With a decade of community organizing under his belt, Daniel hosts a world music night called Eclectica that brings together people from across Los Angeles to dance to global beats. He also organizes meetings of Latin indie bands in the city to explore the central question of “What can we do together that we cannot do alone?”