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Arts & Culture

Bombasta: A Band As Big As The Barrio It Comes From

Veronica Lourdes Luna
Bombasta, Barrio Big Band

A local music group celebrating its tenth anniversary is impressive, but not necessarily newsworthy. This, however, makes it newsworthy:

“I congratulate Bombasta on ten years; it’s a tremendous achievement. I wave the Bombasta flag...”

That’s city councilman Diego Bernal in a video congratulating San Antonio band, Bombasta. He and other local luminaries were part of a video produced marking the band’s milestone.

Founding member and band leader Robert Livar was really impressed that Bernal, John Phillip Santos, Jesse Borrego, Gabriel Velasquez, and others stepped forward to congratulate the band.

“Oh, that was really cool.”

Words of praise for others come easily and often for Livar, who complimented many bands who are his direct competition.  

Bombasta also carries the  nickname, the Barrio Big Band.  I asked Livar why.

“We mix so many influences, from cumbia to hip hop, rock funk, latin jazz, and the Barrio Big Band—that seemed to encompass it all.  Telling our stories from our perspective, which is very barrio centric.”

The band’s got an urban and gritty sound, but there’s something clearly positive about it, too.

“We have a certain responsibility to use our talents to create that positive air.  That’s something we’ve always pushed from day one. And that’s why this Saturday’s show is something itself that’s a community celebration, really doin’ it for the community,” said Livar.

Their 10th anniversary is Saturday night at Hi-Tones, and will feature several other bands and community-oriented groups. Livar prides Bombasta in attracting a crowd that’s not just one race or demographic.

Livar adds, "we’re very much dedicated to knocking down those perceived walls of division, because when it comes down to it, we’re all in the same boat. This music is about a celebration of life, and a celebration of community." 

10YrsOfBombasta from Robb S. Garcia on Vimeo.