band Pan Dulce

Love Your Local Band: Pan Dulce

Pan Dulce plays Thursday, Oct 13 at the Crow’s Nest.

When the members of Watsonville’s Pan Dulce were coming up, they really had no idea how many people—or what instruments even—they’d need. The group quickly evolved into a six-piece ensemble with two guitars, bass, drums, keys, and a trombone.

Alejandro Rayburn could have played guitar, but he really wanted to play trombone, primarily because of his love of ska, and how the horns added another dimension to the music. But he didn’t just want to stop there.

“Ska is great, but there are other ways to use [horns], like Trombone Shorty. He uses the horn in ways that aren’t common. There are a lot of musicians like Cat Empire, and Chicago, that are also using horns in very different ways,” Rayburn says.

The music the group currently plays carries only a hint of ska. On their website, they refer to it as “rock,” mostly because it’s the simplest way to describe their hard-to-classify sound. There are elements of punk, reggae, rock, pop, New Wave, and Latin music all mixed together.

“The thing is that we all write music, so we kind of share our styles. I feel like when we come together we borrow everyone’s writing style,” says lead singer/pianist/melodica player Gabriela Bravo

The group is nearly finished with its debut EP. The members say that the Latin influences are becoming more prominent on their new material, with just a little bit of Spanish finding its way to the music, though they still have a smorgasbord of diverse influences. Or as Rayburn says: “We’re trying to head in a Latin, rock en Español direction, but not necessarily ‘en Español,’ more in a Latin-American feel.” 

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13. Crow’s Nest, 2218 East Cliff Drive, $5. 476-4560.

Contributor at Good Times |

Aaron is a hard-working freelance writer with a focus on music, art, food, culture and travel. In addition to Good Times, he's a regular contributor to Sacramento News & Review, VIA Magazine and Playboy. When he's not working, he's either backpacking, arguing about music or working on his book about ska. One thing's for sure—he knows more about ska than you.

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