Called “the missing link from Jimi Hendrix to Kamasi Washington” by Bandcamp Daily, the exuberant yet exacting Chicago-based quintet Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta blends the traditions of its members’ Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Panamanian heritage with heartfelt skill and psychedelic texture, launching a rapid ascent in jazz and Latinx music circles alike.
Dos Santos is the meeting of five musicians—the singer, guitarist, and keyboardist Alex Chávez; the bassist Jaime Garza; the guitarist and singer Nathan Karagianis; the drummer Daniel Villarreal-Carrillo; and the hand percussionist Peter “Maestro” Vale—who could already boast of accomplished careers in a range of styles, including huapango, salsa, R&B, jazz, punk, and electronic music. Naturally, such a band is limber with genre lines, packing numerous ideas and deft musicianship into each emotional, danceable song.
In 2018, on Logos, they plumbed the cumbia tradition, a cultural mix of African, European, and indigenous cultural influences. From elements such as the poet Roger Reeves’s spoken-word turn on “Sole Party,” the ferocious Antibalas brass on the title track, funky organ vamps, sidewinding surf guitars, and Chávez’s smooth-sailing voice, Dos Santos wove a layered meditation on musical migration. Released on International Anthem, a label dedicated to Chicago’s heritage of free-form noisemaking, Logos captures a band at the height of its early powers. “You genuinely can’t predict what’s going to happen next,” The Wire marveled.