MALO is a band known for its blend of Latin, rock, blues, and jazz music. The San Francisco-based band was led by Richard Bean, Arcelio Garcia, and Jorge Santana, the brother of Latin rock guitarist Carlos Santana.
MALO rose to fame as part of the Latin rock explosion of the early 1970s along with many San Francisco Bay Area artists and groups, including legendary Latin rock icon, Carlos Santana. These groups, led by the success and global acceptance of Santana, earned great prominence and helped popularize the original American music art form known as Latin rock.
MALO's 1972 Top 20 hit single, "Suavecito," (meaning "soft" or "smooth" in Spanish) was written by Timbale, player Richard Bean, who initially wrote it as a poem for a girl in his high school algebra class.
Former original MALO guitarist Abel Zarate gave MALO a distinctive two-guitar sound with intricate harmony and dual solos. The band featured full horn and percussion sections in the style of contemporary bands such as Blood Sweat & Tears and Chicago.
Over the course of its storied history, MALO has had many musicians in its lineup, including some of the best musicians from the Bay Area -- Forrest Buchtel, Jr., Ron Smith, Luis Gasca, and Tom Poole.
MALO's music is also hugely popular in Central and South America, especially with songs "Chevere," "Nena," "Pana," "Café," and "Oye Mama.”
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