In flamenco they call it ida y vuelta -- a sound that's traveled through Africa and Latin America before blending with Spanish influences. It's as diverse as the countries of its origins, with an infectious beat and traditional instrumentation that give it roots in both the old and the new.
Ida y vuelta is also a good way to describe the members of the San Francisco band LoCura. They've come from diverse backgrounds to the Bay Area, where they've built a sound that's attracted a loyal following. When LoCura recently didn't have the money to finish its second album, some of the band's fans pitched in to help foot the bill.
"Knowing that we have the money to finish is huge," said guitarist Bob Sanders, 35. "It feels so good that there are enough people out there that believe in what we're doing to donate all that money."
In mid-April the band reached its goal of raising at least $7,000 through Kickstarter.com to pay for the album, titled Semilla Caminante (Travelling Seeds). Kickstarter offers artists and others a platform for raising money from supporters for specific projects.
LoCura hopes to release its album in August. Fans will be able to hear some of the band's latest songs when it performs May 7 at the Whole Earth Festival in Davis, May 29 during the Unity Festival at the Canyon in Rumsey and June 10 at the New Parish in Oakland. For more information visit the band's Facebook page.
Semilla Caminante will be the follow-up to the band's 2008 debut Animas, which Sanders describes as a more acoustic album that reflects the band's efforts to define its sound.
Vocalist Kata Miletich, 33, said the growth in diversity of LoCura's sound over the past three years will be evident on Semilla Caminante. The track "Guerrilleras" features a traditional Latin beat accentuated by tropical horns, while the smooth acoustic guitar on "Prendela" helps the song set a jazz mood.
"It's definitely a sound that's not at all fixed. There's so much going on, everyday it's growing, like we are," Miletich said. "There's something about this sound, this effusing of styles, showing how different people, here in the Bay Area especially, are coming together and learning from each other."
That concept of musicians coming together and learning from each other is inherent in LoCura's lineup. Miletich was raised in Spain and Italy, where her American father worked as a teacher. Sanders, meanwhile, grew up in the Sierra foothills; he notes that his parents were fans of '50s and '60s rock.
Sanders was introduced to flamenco about 13 years ago, when a man he met at a concert encouraged him to check out the self-described flamenco hip-hop act Ojos de Brujo. The group's diverse sound opened a new musical world for him and encouraged him to study different genres.
He began performing in the Sierra foothills with Miletich, who had moved to the U.S. in 1997 and California in 1999. The duo later came to the Bay Area and began working with a percussionist who performed Cuban music.
"My voice and lyrics had these new terrains and new traditions that I could experiment with," Miletich said.
It led Sanders and Miletich to form LoCura about five years ago. While some members of the band have come and gone since then, Sanders noted that the lineup has been consistent for the past few years. In addition to Sanders and Miletich, LoCura features Isaac Weiser on bass, Danny Cao on trumpet and Ernesto Lopez on drums.
LoCura will be performing at 6:45pm, Saturday, May 7 at the Whole Earth Festival in Davis, CA. For more information visit wef.ucdavis.edu.