As students made their way through bike traffic between classes on the first day of school on Sept. 23, 2021, Storke Tower echoed with music performed by La Santa Cecilia. 

La Santa Cecilia, a group from Los Angeles, plays a modern-day creative hybrid of Latin culture, rock and world music. Their mix has a variety of rhythms, including cumbia, bossa-nova, rumba, bolero, tango, jazz and klezmer. 

The band is composed of Miguel “Oso” Ramirez on percussion, Jose “Pepe” Carlos on the guitar and accordion, Alex Bendaña on bass guitar and vocalist “La Marisoul.” They have been nominated in the 2011 Latin Grammy Awards and were named as having one of the best albums of the year by NPR’s Alt.Latino in 2012. 

The concert is the first of the UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures series presenting free UCSB community concerts at Storke Plaza. The next concert will be Las Cafeteras on Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 12 p.m., also underneath Storke Tower.


La Santa Cecilia lead singer “La Marisoul” performing at Storke Plaza. (Pia Ramos / Daily Nexus)


(Top and Bottom) Students dancing to La Santa Cecilia as they watch the band perform. (Pia Ramos / Daily Nexus)


Alex Bendaña, bass guitarist for La Santa Cecilia, performed a mini solo. (Daniel Huecias / Daily Nexus)


Jose “Pepe” Carlos on the accordion for La Santa Cecilia. (Daniel Huecias / Daily Nexus)


(Top and Bottom) La Santa Cecilia guitarist and drummer on stage as the vocalist joined the crowd. (Daniel Huecias / Daily Nexus)


Lead singer walked in the crowd to dance and sing along, “Viva la estudiantes!” (Pia Ramos / Daily Nexus)


A version of this article appeared on pg. 5 of the Sept. 30, 2021 print edition of the Daily Nexus.