Mono Verde uses its multi-national music to support social causes in Denver

Categories: Profiles

From the Mono Verde "Viajero" video.
The soft colors and fake palm trees of a local Peruvian spot served as ideal backdrop as we caught up with the unique band of personalities in Latin reggae band Mono Verde. For many of the band members, this quiet spot recreates a feeling of home, with its imported South American beers, (fake) birds placed on the trees and delicious Chimichurri sauce. Recreating home is a common theme for Mono Verde, because, for most of its members, their band family is the only family within thousands of miles.

"Being part of this band helps me remember where I come from, after being scattered in American culture when I first got here," says guitarist Henry Torres.

Torres, a native of Venezuela, is one of nine people in the band. They hail from everywhere from Peru to Ohio. Bassist Joe Baker is from Michigan, while Alex Chavieri is from Peru. That is the beauty of the collective. There are a couple of members who barely speak English -- including lead singer Rafael Torres -- yet the music transcends the language barrier.

"It's all about creating positive energy and promoting peace with the music," says Rafael Torres (in Spanish).

Part of creating that energy is working with the community and volunteering their musical skills to causes they believe in. Recently, they performed with Voz y Corazon in conjunction with Mental Health Center of Denver at the Creighton Learning Center to help young people with suicide prevention.

"We do quite a bit of those types of events if we get paid or not, because it's important," says Henry Torres.

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