Are you ready for the Cha Cha?

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    Photo courtesy Jacque Aragon
    Sangre Joven will be the headliner at this weekend’s 13th annual Mountain Chile Cha Cha. In addition to live music, the event will feature races, a chile contest, margarita contest and more.

    By Jacque Aragon
    Special to The PREVIEW
    The 13th annual Mountain Chile Cha Cha will take place in Town Park rain or shine Saturday.
    The festival includes a 5k, 10k and a half marathon. Other activities include a Mexican beer garden, margarita contest and tasting, all-day kids corner, green chile roasted on site and a live Latin music concert by Sangre Joven.
    Sangre Joven means “youngblood.”
    Sangre Joven originated in the Northern New Mexico pueblo de Las Vegas. Their style of music consists of rancheras, cumbias, corridos, polkas and valses traditional to their heritage for centuries.
    The band began its musical journey back in 1988 when Lorenzo Miguel Gallegos and brother Daniel Lee Gallegos founded the group. Several other members have attributed to the success throughout the last two decades, including artists such as Robert Gonzales, Michael Marquez y Dulzura, Joaquin Maestas of Quemoso, Bobby Madrid and Lorenzo Miguel. The result of these collaborations was 11 successful CDs. The first album was recorded in 1989 and was titled “Sangre Joven De Las Vegas, New Mexico.”
    Three other albums followed, which were such huge successes that they established Sangre Joven as an opening act for Los Lobos in 1994.
    From these four albums, numerous original hits were produced, including “Linda Morena,” “Esta Vida,” “Chiquitita de Mi Vida,” “Triste Aqui,” Soy Musiqero, “El Carrito Chevy (55)” and many more.
    During the summer of 1998, Sangre Joven released their fifth CD, “Mala Sangre.” This album was successful due in part to the impressive brass section that was added and more original songs. Sangre Joven wrote and arranged “Alegre Corazon,” “Poco A Poco,” “Sin tus Besos,” “La Mas Hermosa,” and “Besitos de Amor,” which was nominated for best Salsa/Tropical Song of the Year. This CD’s success inspired and encouraged them to record a new hanced CD titled “Nortenisimo.”
    In 2006, Sangre Joven released an all-original CD titled “Sangre Joven” that consisted of 10 original songs all written by Daniel Lee Gallegos in the style of New Mexico music. Radio success and a TV appearance elevated the band to new heights.
    From 2009 to 2012, Daniel Lee Gallegos decided to put Sangre Joven on the back burner. He concentrated on releasing two CDs with his brothers Rey and Francisco Gallegos, Los Gallegos Brozz. The CDs brought many nominations in several categories of the New Mexico Hispano Music Association.
    Daniel Lee Gallegos also released his first solo CD, “Puras Conocidas.” It earned him a nomination for Corrido of the Year for “Reyes Ruiz.”
    In 2013, the band went through a transformation and became a five-piece group again, tying its music to its traditional roots. They released a CD called “Act Right” (“Portate Bien”) and toured the southwest states of New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Utah. They also got nominated for Salsa/Tropical Song of The Year for the song “La Camisa Negra” by the New Mexico Hispano Music Association.
    With such tremendous success, the band released its ninth studio album titled “Que Viva La Raza” in 2014 and it catapulted them to perform over 100 shows that year at many casinos, fiestas, weddings, family reunions and private functions.
    In 2015, Daniel Lee Gallegos released his second solo CD, “Hasta El Ultimo Cartucho,” and he started performing with a full brass horn section in full New Mexican style. Later that year, Los Gallegos Brozz released its third Studio CD, “Puros Exitos.”
    In 2016, Sangre Joven released its 10th CD called “Fierce” with Madrid, and the song “Carta Jugada” hit No. 1 in Colorado (KSLV) and is on heavy rotation at all major radio stations in New Mexico.
    Band members are Manny Lucero (drums), Gerald (bass), Ray Lucero (saxophone), Madrid (trumpet) and the original band member Daniel Lee Gallegos (lead guitar/vocals).
    Sangre Joven’s goal is to keep New Mexico music alive and make people happy with their God-given talent.
    Trail races
    The challenging and beautiful fall trail run boasts a 5k, 10k and a half marathon. The race will wind up, down and around Reservoir Hill, beginning and ending in Town Park. The trail is mountainous and scenic with awesome views. This year’s race is hosted by the Pagosa Peaks Volleyball Club. Go to joingecko.org to register.
    We hope to see you at the Cha Cha.