Funky Latina Music Festival on March 30 in Phoenix is a mix of sound and culture

By Tom Maxedon
Published: Thursday, March 28, 2024 - 8:05am

Audio icon Download mp3 (1.51 MB)

Kyle Knox
Elyssa Bustamante (back row) is The Funky Latina. She's onstage with the band Las Calakas at the 2nd Annual Funky Latina Music Festival in 2023 at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix.

The Third Annual Funky Latina Music Festival gets underway Saturday, March 30, at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix.

“One of the goals of the festival is to be a music discovery festival. So, you’re going to see up and coming Latin indie artists and I think some of these artists in a year or two will be playing Coachella,” said blogger, DJ and music maven Elyssa Bustamante, better known as the Funky Latina.

Hear a longer interview with Elyssa Bustamante

The festival offers a range of styles, including those which merge Latin and Middle Eastern musical influences on tracks like “Una Noche Más” or “One More Night.” Those are songs from Phoenix-based Monique Hasbun, who’s descended from those cultures.  

“I intertwine some ‘Spanglish’ — because that’s what I’m most comfortable speaking — and I’m going to add some Middle Eastern percussion, some instruments, some flutes, because I also do belly dancing as well,” said Hasbun. “So I just want to mix everything in, because it’s the most authentic to who I am.”

Hasbun said she’s influenced by artists like Shakira, herself of Latin and Middle Eastern descent. That influence earned Hasbun the title “Shakira of Phoenix” by a local magazine.

Doors open at 7 p.m., and the event starts at 8 p.m.

Hear a longer interview with Monique Hasbun

According to a release, the lineup features the following artists:

  • "Vortxz is an indie bilingual rock band from Houston that blends the influences of the Strokes with Rock en Español to create a new-age alternative rock sound for the next generation.
  • Introverted Funk, based in Los Angeles, blends R&B, disco and house music to create a sound that is uniquely their own.
  • The New Royals hail from Phoenix and consists of three brothers who combine rock, pop and electronic music.
  • Monique Hasbun is a pop singer/songwriter from Phoenix who infuses her Latin and Middle Eastern background in her music.
  • DJ Audrey is a Phoenix-based DJ who spins dance music from all genres."
Fronteras Arts + Entertainment Race + Diversity