Bicicletas Por La Paz is a nine-piece Latin Circus Funk band fuses Colombian folklore with modern psychedelic funk to create a high-energy sound that combines thick harmonies and hip-hop drive with positive and political messages in both Spanish and English.
Based out of Oakland, California, Bicicletas Por La Paz, has members from Canada the United States and Colombia. It’s comprised of four vocalists, a drummer, two guitarists, a saxophonist, a trumpeter and Colombian Folklore instruments, as well as dancers, puppeteers, stilt walkers and visual artists.
Founded in 2013, Bicicletas Por La Paz is the creation of guitarist, Adley Penner, who lived in Colombia and studied Afro-Colombian rhythms for two years. After touring with other bands by car, Penner dreamed of creating a band that would tour exclusively on bicycle.
Bicicleta’s first bicycle tour, in 2014, down the California coast and into Mexico, included just a small group of musicians and a single, battery-powered amplifier. But this tour, which inspired the band’s name, “Bicicletas Por La Paz,” was hugely influential in shaping Penner’s vision for the band. In Mexico, where public spaces are used for social gathering and street art is revered, Bicicletas was inspired to grow their band into a fully sustainable, roaming bicycle circus, combining art and activism and pushing the boundaries of what art could be in the United States.
Since then, Bicicletas has realized their dream and expanded their bicycle touring family to create Biketopia, a bicycle-touring music festival. Biketopia, comprised of four Bay Area bands (as well as clowns, jugglers, stilt walkers and dancers,) toured the Pacific Northwest in 2016, utilizing a bicycle-powered sound system to amplify the music.
With songs like Fruitvale, written about the police brutality, and Keep On, which highlights the power of community in resistance, Bicicletas Por La Paz believes that music can grow community and be an act of powerful resistance.
Bicicletas Por La Paz has put out two albums, Musica Por Puppets (2015) and Coco Avenges (2017), and has performed at The Great American Music Hall, The New Parish, and opened for Atercepalados at The Independent.
The band will celebrate their five-year anniversary with a show at The New Parish on April 27th, and has plans to again tour the Pacific Northwest with Biketopia in the summer of 2018. Look for their new album, which comes out in the fall of 2018.