Rodrigo y Gabriela
When listening to the dulcet flamenco melodies of Rodrigo y Gabriela, it's hard to believe that the duo trace their musical roots to an interest in heavy metal that the two shared while growing up in Mexico City. Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero initially combined their talents in the heavy metal band Tierra Acida, but were never able to hit it big. As the two expanded their repertoire of guitar styles and got tired of playing in seedy dive bars around Mexico, they finally decided to uproot and try their chances in Europe.
In 2003, Rodrigo y Gabriela released Re-Foc, an extensive collection of material that they had recorded over the years that allowed them to gain steam in Europe's music scene. The duo played at any event they could come by, whether it was an art gallery opening or a wedding party. After building up a reputation around Dublin, Rodrigo y Gabriela were able to build up their contacts with others in the music industry. After becoming friends with indie rock hero Damien Rice, Rodrigo y Gabriela joined him on tour and attracted scores of new fans. They quickly made a name for themselves with their mesmerizing live performances and stellar guitar playing, which catapulted them to the top of the world music circuit.
Though the duo hasn't achieved great commercial success in America, their tours have become increasingly popular in the U.S. and they have formed a strong base of followers. In 2006, Rodrigo y Gabriela released a self-titled album and it quickly climbed to the top of the Irish music charts. With tracks like "Diablo Rojo" and enchanting covers of the Led Zeppelin classic "Stairway to Heaven," Rodrigo y Gabriela was able to combine the intricacies of flamenco music with their diverse heavy metal background to create a style that has captured audience's imaginations around the world.
The band expanded its discography in 2009 with the release of 11:11 and would continue to tour around the world to promote its release. In 2010, Rodrigo y Gabriela received a major boost by being invited to perform on the South Lawn of the White House to commemorate the visit of Mexican president Felipe Calderón. The appearance confirmed the impressive growth of the band and further established their reputation as one of the most talented and progressive musical acts on the stage today.