Carlos Villalobos

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Carlos Villalobos
Birth name Carlos Villalobos, Jr.
Genres Rock, alternative rock, industrial rock, pop, jazz, latin, electronica, classical, world,
Occupation(s) Composer
Studio musician
Recording engineer
Instruments vocals, piano, synthesizer, keyboard, programming, guitar, bass guitar, saxophone, drums, violin, cello, oboe, harmonica
Years active Since 1998
Labels Alistar Records, Rhodium Records, Higher Octave
Associated acts La Esperanza, Angry Chiwawah, Hurricane, Filter

Carlos Jonathan Villalobos, Jr. is an American composer, studio musician, recording engineer, and multi-instrumentalist.

Musical career[edit]

La Esperanza[edit]

La Esperanza is Villalobos's Grammy-nominated Latin-new age flamenco project.

Allmusic said of the group: "Mixing flamenco-styled guitars with contemporary dance rhythms, La Esperanza (is) led by songwriter, producer and session ace Carlos Villaloba, who assembled guitarist Andre Barboza, keyboardist Randy Wheeler and drummer Danny Cruces to record the group's self-titled 1998 debut LP. Esperanza II appeared three years later."[1]


  • La Esperanza (1998) (Higher Octave Music)
  • Esperanza II (2001) (Higher Octave Music)
  • Songs For The Season (2006) (Alistar Records)
  • Valentine's Night (2011) (Alistar Records)

The record label Higher Octave released La Esperanza's debut self-titled album on September 22, 1998.[2] JazzTimes said of the album:[3]

Swirling, fleet flamenco guitar work meets modern dance rhythms on La Esperanza (Higher Octave HOMCD 46227; 63:06), a sometimes dizzying romantic showcase for multi-instrumentalist Carlos Villalobos. Unlike many of his Latin-strumming contemporaries, Villalobos doesn't overdress melodies like the lightly walking, cornered "Gabriella's Lullaby," allowing his dynamic strum and fleet fretwork to shine through. He also avoids the everything-sounds-the-same pitfall by reaching for a variety of textures and styles, from "Spanish Eyes," which amps up a heavy flamenco stomp with rattling, dancing contemporary percussion, to "Para Mi Nicole," a cinematic, dreamy piece which echoes Sting's touching "Fragile." Industrial-to-"house" type rhythms resonate with the chant-and-clap traditionalism of "Guapa." The only slight misfire here is a pop-soul ballad, "What Would Love Do Now," marred by a somewhat melodramatic Glenn Medeiros vocal... and a tendency to introduce other tunes with new agey, keyboard effect-heavy opens. Make it past those intros, however, and there are many rewarding layers to uncover.

La Esperanza released "Esperanza II" on July 17, 2001, again on Higher Octave. said the record was "The freshest take on flamenco since the millennium flipped over..."[4] and Allmusic said the album was "One of the best worldbeat releases of the year.".[5]

On December 12, 2006, Esperanza released a holiday album entitled "Songs For The Season."[6]


  • Music for the New Millennium (Virgin)
  • Nuevo Flamenco (Higher Octave/Virgin)
  • Rendezvous: Echoes Within the City (Higher Octave/Virgin)
  • Tabu: Mondo Flamenco (Narada)
  • Gypsy Magic: Nouveau Flamenco (EMI)

In 1999, the group appeared on the compilation album "Chicago Rapid Transit: Grooves 99" with a remix track named "Spanish Eyes/Flamenc Tronic Mix."[7]

Other compilations featuring music from Esperanza include:


The season finale of Sex And The City, "Ex and the City" (aired on October 3, 1999) featured four Esperanza songs "La Punta", "El Loco", "Love & Lust", "Cara Mia."

Angry Chiwawah[edit]

Angry Chiwawah is Carlos Villalobos's heavy rock project. The band released their album "Unleashed" through Rhodium Records on April 30, 2002.[8] The cover art for "Unleashed" features model/actress Brande Roderick.[9]


MTV featured the band's music on The Real World: Las Vegas, The Real World: Paris and Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet.

US Cellular chose to preload the band's song "Please" onto the company's Motorola ROKR z6m phones.[10]

Starting From Zero[edit]

In 2008, Villalobos began production on "Starting From Zero." Villalobos tracked drums with producer/engineer Rae Dileo of Filter/Army of Anyone fame at Solid Sound Recording Studio in Hoffmann Estates, IL.[11]

Other Projects[edit]

Villalobos is featured on the band Hurricane's 2001 album Liquifury. He is credited with co-writing track seven on the album, entitled "Bleed For Me," with Kelly Hansen (Foreigner) and Jay Schellen (ASIA). He also performed guitars on the recording.[12]

Villalobos contributed a remix track entitled "In Dreams (Chase The White Rabbit Into Pakistan)" to Filter's first independent album "Anthems for the Damned", released November 4, 2008.[13]


In 1998, the Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts bestowed a Hoku Award for Best Pop CD to Villalobos for his work on "Jalen."

Villalobos won a second Hoku Award for Best Reggae Album for his work on "O-shen" in 2000.

He also won an IBA Award presented by the Hollywood Radio and Television Society honoring the world’s best radio and television advertising in 1999 for a spot called “Kaneohe."

As of September 2012 Villalobos is collaborating with Greg Bates on an alternative rock music project.


  1. ^ " La Esperanza: Albums, Songs, Bios, Photos". Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  2. ^ " La Esperanza: La Esperanza: Music". Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  3. ^ "Jazz Albums: La Esperanza - Carlos Villalobos". June 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  4. ^ " Esperanza II: La Esperanza: Music". Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  5. ^ "Esperanza II, La Esperanza, Music CD". Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  6. ^ " Songs For The Season: Esperanza". Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  7. ^ "Chicago Rapid Transit: Grooves '99.". Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  8. ^ " Unleashed: Angry Chiwawah: Music". Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  9. ^ "Playmate Gossip". Playboy: 160. November 2002. ISSN 0032-1478. 
  10. ^ "Rhodium Artist Chosen By US Cellular". 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2009-09-13. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Local Studio Happenings". 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  12. ^ "'80s Hard Rockers HURRICANE Resurrected; New Album In The Works". 2007-02-11. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  13. ^ "Anthems for the Damned". Retrieved 2009-09-13. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]