Popular Argentinian-North American musician Kevin Johansen and his band The Nada are coming to Costa Rica for the first time, joined by Liniers, an illustrator who crafts free-form images as part of the show.
Born in Alaska, Johansen’s Argentinian mother and U.S. father helped him meld a unique and compelling style that mixes languages and influences. He has travelled extensively throughout the Americas, growing up both in Argentina and North America, and he describes his music as a mix of “celtic sambareras,” hip-hop and flamenco cumbias, among other styles.
In the 1980s in Argentina, he led the rock-pop-synth band Instrucción Cívica, whose album “Obedencia Debida” won a Golden Record award in Peru in 1985.
A nomad by nature, in 1990 he decided to “rediscover the North America of his infancy,” according to Profana Latinoamérica, promoters of the upcoming show in Costa Rica. Johansen spent most of the next 10 years in New York, where he founded The Nada and recorded a self-titled album. In 2000, he relocated to Buenos Aires.
In 2002, Johansen recorded “Sur o no Sur,” nominated for three Latin Grammys for Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Video. He then recorded “City Zen,” nominated for Best Latin Pop Album in 2005.
Johansen also has collaborated with many other musicians, and in 2007 he released “Logo,” a reference to the international bestselling anti-globalization book “No Logo” by Canadian author Naomi Klein (“todo tiene logo, até logo, saravaravá!“). That project included Colombian singer-songwriter Andrea Echeverri of Aterciopelados, Spaniards Amparo Sánchez and Albert Plá, and Paulino Moska from Brazil. “Logo” won Latin Grammy nominations for Alternative Music Album of the Year, Alternative Song and Short-Form Musical Video.
Johansen began working with Liniers, whose full name is Ricardo Siri Liniers, in 2008, and their wacky personalities helped produce “OOPS!”, a 144-page graphic book. Liniers has published his comic illustrations in a daily strip called Macanudo in the Argentine daily La Nación since 2002 (see his blog here). He also is an editor, writer and actor in the “Eléctrica” comedy series on YouTube.
Watch a chapter of Eléctrica here – it’s pretty funny:
In 2011, Johansen launched “El Vecinal,” a Latin American music festival showcasing non-major-label bands that are popular in their respective countries. In June 2012, he released the double album “Bi,” with the collaboration of musicians including Lila Downs, Daniela Mercury, Natalia Lafourcade, Paulinho Moska, Rubén Rada and the Orquesta El Arranque.
He followed that effort with the DVD “(Bi)Vo en México,” produced in Mexico City and featuring Johansen and The Nada, Liniers, Rubén Albarrán, Lafourcade, Leonel García and David Aguilar.
The group also published a “road book” titled “BIS” focusing on tours in Latin America and Europe. All of these items will be on sale during the upcoming show at Jazz Café Escazú, southwest of the capital.
Tickets already are on sale for the show, which takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m.
Who: Kevin Johansen, The Nada y Liniers
When: Tuesday, Oct. 28, 8 p.m.
Where: Jazz Café Escazú
Tickets: Online at www.specialticket.net or at Tiendas Bansbach, Servimas y Grupo Mutual
How Much: ₡20,000-24,000 ($37-44) in advance; ₡26,000-30,000 ($48-55) day of show
Visit: Kevin Johansen’s website