Cabaret with Chris Montez press release


February 11, 2013 San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico  

60s Rock Icon CHRIS MONTEZ returns to San Carlos for Cabaret en El Mar March 15th and 16th!  


“Why don’t you start the Mexican Motown? Not just record artists, nurture their confidence and stage presence too. You can call it Mexmo!” Those words were prophetically uttered by longtime music buddy Chris Montez on my front porch as he contemplated his dream of retiring to Mexico and working with kids. That was over five years ago and Mexmo is going strong!   The BIG news is Chris Montez is returning to San Carlos  Friday March 15th and Saturday March 16th  to participate in the Cabaret en El Mar!  Cabaret en El Mar is a multi media Las Vegas style show utilizing video, sketch comedy, theater and live music. "The El Mar Restaurant and Sports Bar at La Posada Beach has a lovely back room that is perfect for a classic supper club atmosphere. With a climate controlled and intimate environment we're able to create a showroom theater experience unique in San Carlos. The costumes alone are worth the price of admission!." Produced by Mexmo San Carlos, the multi-national cast of 10 features many of San Carlos’ favorite individual performers including Peter Pope Jones, Bobby & Leslie Sahlen, Neil Duvall, Bliss Cochran, Rand Gahart, Rich McDaniel, with choreography by Michelle Duvall. The show’s appeal is to both English and Spanish speaking audiences.   Chris is still on the road delighting audiences worldwide with his many hits. There’s even a documentary of his life in production now, El Viaje Musical de Ezekial Montanez, The Chris Montez Story. Be sure and watch for it, he’s a musical treasure.    Chris Montez was born in Los Angeles California and grew up in the town of Hawthorne. He was influenced by his Hispanic culture and the rock 'n roll success of Richie Valens. Music was an integral part of his family life and Chris began singing rancheras with his older brothers when he was a kid. They taught him to play the guitar and he sang the high parts. As he gained confidence and his voice matured, he began singing leads. His early days at Hawthorne High were spent emulating the tough "low rider" Latino image, but in his junior year, ignited by the spark of musical ambition, Chris changed his style because he had "goals to make." He formed a band and recorded his own original songs that gained the interest of Monogram Records. "All You Had To Do Was Tell Me" became a local hit. In 1962, Chris' single, "Let's Dance" hit the top 10 and he was on his way. He toured with Clyde McPhatter, Sam Cooke, The Platters and Smokey Robinson. In 1963, while in Liverpool with Tommy Roe, his opening act was a new English group, The Beatles. With 3 years on the road behind him, Chris came home in 1965 to complete his education and join a new label, A & M. Herb Alpert dropped in on one of Chris' first sessions and suggested that he try a soft ballad sound. It was a more conservative style than Chris would have preferred but Alpert's instincts were good and the hits "The More I See You," "There Will Never Be Another You," "Call Me" and "Time After Time" followed in quick succession. While the British and psychedelic rock were invading the U.S., Chris left A & M, signed with CBS International and amassed a string of hits outside the U.S. that has firmly established him as an international recording star. He has recorded songs in English and in Spanish that have become hits in Austria, Germany and Holland. Long before The Doors and The Beach Boys, there was a musical phenomenon occurring in Los Angeles' large Hispanic population that would take 30 years to be recognized. In the early 50's, rhythm and blues performed solely by black musicians took hold with Los Angeles' Chicano (Americans born of Mexican descent) residents years before it gained popularity with the teens who would credit Elvis Presley with their introduction to rock 'n roll. In the barrios of East Los Angeles, The Drifters, Clyde McPhatter, Crows and Big Jay McNeely were the music of choice in the 50's. Those solid musical roots, intermingled with traditional Mexican rancheras gained a new and fresh popularity with groups such as Los Lobos. The success of the film "La Bamba" identified those roots. Chris Montez' well-known hits and his heritage are part of the Richie Valens legacy. "I am very conscious of my culture," says Chris, who performed as Chris Montez and La Raza on tours to Japan, South America and Europe. Judging by record sales and well attended appearances in many European cities, so are they. Today, Chris Montez is just hitting his stride. Born into a bi-cultural city with a rich heritage, he emerges trim and fit, an energetic performer with a history and cultural relevance that is unique.   Mexmo became a corporation in Mexico and currently working on our 21st CD. Our goals have always included creating events for local charity groups, and encouraging amateur and professional musicians and singers. Mexmo! Mexmo is located in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico. Commonly referred to as a “drinking village with a fishing problem,” it’s a little slice of paradise where the desert meets the Sea of Cortez about 250 miles south of Tucson. It’s also home/2nd home/Wanna home to a friendly and internationally diverse community of talented artists. Not just music, but visual and technical artists. There’s a lot of love in this little community, and a generous love of art for art’s sake.   It's been a really busy year at our little studio in San Carlos, Mexmo. We collaborated with producers in Brazil, Massachusetts and Nashville as well as completed our latest Mexmo CD, Twisted Americana Vol. 1, available now at Itunes, CDBaby and Broadjam. Twisted Americana Vol. 1 features many local artists including Peter Pope Jones, Bliss Cochran, Hans Guttmann, and Sam Rainwater performing pre-1928 standards and complimentary original compositions with a tongue in cheek peek at social issues. This summer many of the songs have received encouraging critical acclaim, 5 of the the current Broadjam independent music chart Top 10 for Mexico are Mexmo!
Our collaborations with Nery Bauer in Brazil and Jay Carney in Massachusetts have resulted in some fun stuff. Rapazzi has been described as "Johnny Cash gangsta raps Primus and jazz." The writer was in USA, the musicians and producer in Brazil, and all the vocals done here in Mexico. The project also featured local female vocalists Elba Santiago, Bliss Cochran and Leslie Sahlen. Way different than anything any of us has ever done. The first video out of Brazil, "Got No Soul" from Rapazzi is on YouTube.

Speaking of video, one of our new original songs "Trapped"  won Broadjam's Song of The Month for August 2012, and is currently being covered and made into a video by popular Brazilian cabaret artist, Santolin The Dancing Queen."  The song is currently charted on the Broadjam Top 10 Unique worldwide in two versions mine and Santolin's! Google him. Very talented young man. He doesn't speak English so he learned the song phonetically. Now I know how Cher feels when she hears herself impersonated!

Over the years with our live shows the players and band names have changed, it got confusing. Some musicians are only here part of the year, many go on tour. The commonality was always my guitar picking songwriter husband Bobby, me (Leslie Sahlen), and shows/records produced by Mexmo. So it makes more sense our shows will be as the artist Mexmo! Our fans know that “band” includes a wonderful assortment of featured artists who might include Bliss Cochran, Rachel Souza, Peter Pope Jones, Neil Duvall, The Twins, Manuelito, Hans Gundman, steel drum diva Susan King and even Trop Rock award winner, Sam Rainwater, pulls out his uke when he can. Bruce Munson and his Trailer Trash Royalty have been known to grace the stage.   What you get is MexiBlues, Baja Bluegrass, Mariachi Fusion, Coconut Country and Twisted Americana.   You can catch Mexmo live in San Carlos, and “live” concert broadcasts on   All the Mexmo recorded products under a variety of artist names can be found at   Info email: Leslie Sahlen