Jenny and the Mexicats: 10 Years of Music Without Borders

Created: 11 April, 2018
Last update: 27 July, 2022

By Mario A. Cortez

The story of Jenny and the Mexicats is one that could have only happened the way it did, with a diverse group of musicians coming together on the road through music.

The band, made up of English lead singer and trumpetist Jenny Ball, Mexican buddies Luis “Icho” Dias and Alfonso “Pantera” Acosta, on bass and guitar respectively, and Spanish percussionist David Gonzalez, fuses the worlds of blues, Mexican zapateado, cumbia, jazz, pop, and flamenco to create a sound that reflects the multicultural background and influences of its members.

Looking at this eclectic ensemble’s story, it would appear as if its members came together as an act of destiny.

In 2008, Ball was touring through Spain as part of a travelling orchestra. During a stop in Madrid, she met “Icho” and “Pantera” at a flamenco bar and instantly connected with their way of thinking about music. The newly-formed bond was so strong that Ball moved to Madrid shortly after her orchestra’s return to England, despite her not speaking any Spanish at the time.

With Gonzalez’s arrival to the group, the four-piece was complete and ready to embark on a project which to this day has yielded inventive studio productions and much acclaim from fans and critics.

Their self-titled first production debuted in 2011 and introduced the world to their world-influenced, bilingual stylings through songs like “Verde Mas Alla,” “Anthem Song,” “Flor,” and “Me Voy a Ir.” In the process, their debut record earned a certified Gold Record award and international recognition.

2014 would bring “Ome,” their second album and a relocation from the Spanish capital to Mexico CIty. As a result of the move, this new record displays more prevalent influences from Mexican music which could be felt through new hits such as “Boulevard,” and “Frenetico Ritmo.” The album’s lead single, titled “Labios,” was used in the soundtrack to Mexican romance flick “Amor de Mis Amores,” released that same year.

2017’s “Mar Abierto,” their latest studio feature, brings a mature sensibility without abandoning the group’s unique and infectious sound. Songs such as “Why Why” and “Born in the City” capture the sonic mashup of cultures Jenny and the Mexicats is known for, but brings a poignant undertone through the lyrical work of Ball.

Today, 10 years after coming together and completing numerous studio projects, Jenny and the Mexicats is celebrating a decade of making music with a tour that will span both sides of the Atlantic and the U.S.-Mexico border.

As part of this tour, Jenny and the Mexicats will play at The Casbah in Little Italy on July 25, in what will surely bring fans from both Tijuana and San Diego to experience the band’s unique and diverse style.

The celebration doesn’t stop there, however, the band has also released a nostalgic video which calls back to the early days of this project, revealing the experiences which have lead this group to become a favorite among many.

The story of Jenny and the Mexicats is one that could have only happened the way it did and today, 10 years later, it is a story that continues to show that for music there is no nationality of borders.