Short Description: Tropical Funk-Rock or Latin Dance Rock
Since 2012, ¡Chiringa! has united people of all backgrounds on dance floors across the Pacific Northwest with "rockified" tropical covers and funk-infused original Latin music. This Bend, Oregon-based, 6-piece Latin dance rock band has a smokin' rhythm section and strong, soulful lead vocals, which conjure up passion and joy at their high-energy shows. Puerto Rican-Iranian-American singer / guitarist / songwriter, Shireen Amini, fronts the band and is supported by her favorite gringos, Johnny Riordan on congas and timbales, Tom Freedman on bass and trumpet, and Matthew Williams on drums, Heather Fossmo on supporting vocals, and Jon Harnum on trumpet and keys. The band's debut album, "Familia," was released in the summer of 2017, which they have toured throughout the Pacific Northwest. They currently are working on a new wave of original material, so stay tuned!
¡Chiringa! is a 6-piece Latin dance rock band based in Bend, Oregon that plays popular tropical covers and funk-infused original Latin music. The band is fronted by lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter, Shireen Amini, followed by Johnny Riordan on congas and timbales, Tom Freedman on bass and trumpet, Matthew Williams on drum kit, Heather Fossmo on supporting vocals, and Jon Harnum on trumpet and keys. Shireen is the only member of actual Latin descent, but these “gringos" offer incredible flavor and spice from their background in styles as diverse as jazz, funk, r&b, klezmer, West African, baladas románticas and straight-ahead salsa.
Shireen Amini was born of Puerto Rican and Iranian parents and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her early musical training in piano and guitar, passion for songwriting, and exposure to the joy and passion of Latin music growing up led her to study Ethnomusicology at UCLA. There, she deepened her studies of Afro-Latin styles under legends like Cuban conguero, Francisco Aguabella. She also had the chance to study abroad in Cusco, Perú where she learned how to play the Afro-Peruvian cajón. After college, she relocated to Central Oregon, where she began her professional career as a musician both performing her soul-based original music and accompanying other local acts with percussion and backup vocals. In early 2012, Shireen was asked to put together an all-Latin band for a Cinco de Mayo festival. She called the band ¡Chiringa!, (pronounced Chee-reen-gah), which means "kite" in Spanish, or Puerto Rican-style Spanish to be more precise. When Shireen was young, Puerto Rican family members would play with the "sh" sound in her Iranian name (a sound which does not exist in Spanish), leading to her nickname, Chiringa.
This one-time project ended up becoming a huge hit on the local scene, packing top Central Oregon venues such as the Silver Moon Brewing Co., Les Schwab Amphitheater, Volcanic Theater Pub, McMenamins Old St. Francis School, and performing the largest festival stages in town including the Bend Summer Festival main stage. In February 2016, Shireen had the opportunity to open for Pete Escovedo Orchestra featuring Sheila E. at the Tower Theater in Bend, Oregon (the source of inspiration for the track "Sheila E.") ¡Chiringa! has had the amazing opportunity to open for two of its greatest musical inspirations, the Gipsy Kings and Ozomatli. ¡Chiringa!’s debut album, ”Familia," was released in the summer of 2017, and the band has since toured in the Portland, Ashland, and Eugene areas, making waves in the greater Pacific Northwest region with their passionate, joyful, and high-energy shows, uniting people of all ages and backgrounds on the dance floor and getting down together like one big familia!
Munch and Music Summer Concert Series opening for Ozomatli in Bend, Oregon
Les Schwab Amphitheater "Summer Sundays" Concert Series in Bend, Oregon
Tower Theater opening for Pete Escovedo Orchestra featuring Sheila E. in Bend, Oregon
Britt Fest Performance Garden Stage opening for the Gipsy Kings in Jacksonville, Oregon
Brickroom in Ashland, Oregon
Silver Moon Brewing Co. in Bend, Oregon
McMenamins Edgefield as part of Great Northwest Tours in Troutdale, Oregon
McMenamins Old St. Francis School in Bend, Oregon
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