Group connects with big band demand
The Big Band Era is back in De Soto with the formation of the 14-member brass band that made its De Soto debut Saturday at Fiesta De Soto.
Banda la Perrona was created by Luis Murillo Sr. about three months ago, said Luis Murillo Jr., the band leader's son and translator.
At 10 years old and a fourth-grader at Starside Elementary School, Murillo Jr. is too young to play in a school band but he is a full-fledged member of Banda la Perrona with a black and red outfit to match other band members.
Saturday's schedule included playing in the Fiesta De Soto parade, an early afternoon stint at the festival at De Soto VFW Post 6654, a trip to Edgerton to play at the Cinco de Mayo celebration and a return to the De Soto festival for a final performance.
It's typical of the reception the band has had in the area Hispanic community since its formation.
"We play every week," the younger Murillo said. "In Kansas City - most of the time there or Bonner Springs. This is our first time in De Soto. We hope to keep playing here."
The band of tuba, trombones, trumpets, clarinet and drums plays traditional Mexican tunes.
Murillo Jr. said his father found the band's instruments on the Internet and started gathering band members, some of whom he was teaching to play.
"Most of the members are from De Soto," he said. "We practice every other day."
Banda la Perrona plays at weddings, the coming-out parties for 15-year-old Hispanic girls and various dances, Murrillo Jr. said.