Los Amigos Invisibles


Los Amigos Invisibles is a multiple-Grammy nominated and Latin Grammy winning Venezuelan band that plays a blend of disco, acid jazz and funk mixed with Latin rhythms. Los Amigos Invisibles formed in Caracas, Venezuela in the early 1990s and quickly reinvented the club scene in Caracas. With its original lineup still intact, the band comprises Julio Briceño (a.k.a. “Chulius”, vocals, percussion), José Luis Pardo (a.k.a. “Cheo” or “DJ Afro”, guitar, songwriting), Armando Figueredo (a.k.a. “Odnam”, keyboards), Mauricio Arcas (a.k.a “Maurimix,” congas, percussion), José Rafael Torres (a.k.a “Catire”, bass), and Juan Manuel Roura (a.k.a. “Mamel”, drums, percussion).

In 1995, EMI released their debut album, “A Typical and Autoctonal Venezuelan Dance Band,” which was a huge success in their home country, enabling them to sell out clubs around Caracas for the next couple of years. In 1996, David Byrne’s Luaka Bop record label signed the group after discovering a CD they had planted in a New York City record store. Shortly thereafter, they went into the studio to work on their sophomore record, “The New Sound of the Venezuelan Gozadera,” which was released in 1998 and received accolades from press and musicians alike.

Two years later and under the direction of famed producer Philip Steir, they released “Arepa 3000: A Venezuelan Journey into Space,” which received a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Latin Alternative Album and a Latin Grammy in the category of Best Rock Album.

Following the success of this release, the band relocated to New York City and began work on their masterpiece, “The Venezuelan Zinga Son, Vol. 1,” produced by “Little” Louie Vega of Masters at Work. Initially, the album was released in the U.K. and Japan through Long Lost Brothers Records, though a year later, Luaka Bop released the album in the U.S., resulting in another Latin Grammy nomination in the category of Best Alternative Latin Album.

After ending their contract with Luaka Bop, Los Amigos Invisibles started their own label, Gozadera Records. The first release, “Chill Out Venezuela,” was a multiple-genre collection of Venezuelan artists, produced by Los Amigos Invisibles. For Gozadera’s next release and the band’s fifth studio album, they enlisted Dimitri from Paris to produce a collection of Venezuelan cover songs entitled, “Super Pop Venezuela,” which was initially offered in their native country only. In 2006, the album was released in the U.S., landing the band yet another Grammy nomination in the category of Best Urban Latin Alternative Album.

In 2009 Los Amigos Invisibles released their groundbreaking album, “Commercial,” in a joint effort between Gozadera Records and Nacional Records. For this recording, the band took a much different approach to writing resulting in a more globally appealing album. The release was an instant hit in Venezuela, debuting at #1 on the music charts. “Commercial” won the Latin Grammy in the category of Best Alternative Music Album.

In 2011, the band released “Not So Commercial,” an EP of outtakes from the “Commerical” album. The album was nominated for Best Latin Pop, Rock, Or Urban Album at the 2012 Grammys.