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  • Quetzal: 20 Years of Music, Community, & Artivism

    A Grammy® Award winning East LA Chican@ rock group, now celebrating its 20-year anniversary, Quetzal is the collaborative project of Quetzal Flores (guitar), Martha González (lead vocals, percussion), Tylana Enomoto (violin), Juan Pérez (bass), Peter Jacobson (cello), and Alberto Lopez (percussion). The musical ensemble is influenced by an East LA rock soundscape composed of Mexican ranchera, cumbia, salsa, rock, R&B, folk, and fusions of international musics, and also one whose political vision is based in social activism, feminism, and the belief that there is radical potential in expressive culture. During the past two decades, the musical force of Quetzal has created a unique cultural platform that has sounded against conditions of oppression and marginalization. On the twentieth anniversary of their first flight, Quetzal introduces us to another sphere of being, one that challenges us to reimagine human life in relation to the other forms of life that we are so often connected to and through.

  • Quetzanimales Context

    In this, their sixth album release Quetzal turns to the matter of animals in urban space—including roosters, ants, owls, geese, squirrels, coyotes, pigeons, spiders, dogs, and butterflies—to imagine a world not merely from the animal’s perspective but that shatters the colonial distinctions between persons, things, and animals. The animals in Quetzanimales come to life through the sounds of funky cumbia beats, bluesy melodies, and country inflected soulful ballads.


    Quetzanimales is situated at the intersection of space, human life, and animal existence, thereby channeling the spirit of a world Gloria Anzáldua once theorized as “un mundo surdo” (a left-handed world) which she intentionally spelled with an “s” to symbolize the radical power held in thinking and imagining wrongly, in other words, refusing to accept our world as it is. Quetzanimales creates un mundo surdo, a world cultivated through souls thriving and surviving that offer teachings that may allow us to recover our own souls. Quetzanimales offers us what feminist theorists would call a “posthuman” praxis for appreciating the offerings of the rooster’s awakenings and the coyote’s hunger. Such offerings assembled in this album call us to imagine life relationally across different beings rather than across the same beings. As Martha Gonzalez explains, the project configures “an animal world that can give us insight into our own humanity.”


    In a similar spirit, this album fashions a splendid world for us to listen to, encouraging us to pursue an equilibrium that honors all living matter. Quetzanimales sounds a possibility of un mundo surdo through alternative practices and models of gratification, endurance, and perseverance gifted to our souls by all living beings.


    Written by Deborah R. Vargas, Associate Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies at The University of California, Riverside. She is the author of Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music: The Limits of La Onda (University of Minnesota Press, 2012).





Wake up everybody

Cause the sun doesn't rise

Without someone to hypnotize

With its rays that run down your back

Peering through these shadow cracks

Putting winds to shame

This here is my game!

Sing for you I will

To the street sweepers drill

Crow to the sound of the rusty greyhound (yeah)


Cause a song in a meadow

Is a song in a city

A song in a prairie

Is a song in an alley too


Wake up everybody (2x)

Kikiriki. Kikiriki!


Suns come out

With my song





Los charcos reflejan la luz del sol

Después de una tormenta dura

Y lluvias que ahogaron un jardín

Destruyendo los capullos

Frutas y verduras


Hormiguita divina

Alza la vista al sol

Arrugando la frente

Asesora el momento

Sin embargo amanece con las fuerzas en mano

Y aunque alguien vea su esfuerzo en vano

Como hormiga sigue el valor para

Su futuro hermano….


Hormiga en el universo de un jardín

Que combate aguas inmundas

Colibrí de flor en dulce flor

Ausente la desesperación

“A paso fijo sigue mi labor!”







No, no!

Mira que regresa el maldito

No, no!

Viene con las manos llenitas!!

No, no!

Corre, corre

No, no!


Entre palmas y acera, lago y autopista

La agresión de la criatura ay! ten piedad

Es la vida del gansito en lago de ciudad

El ganso nada ojo a la vista

No, no hay tranquilidad

Nada el ganso de ciudad


Generosos hay pocos

En este lago hay puros locos

Puros locos

Conmigo todos se quieren desquitar

Soy el ganso que les gusta aterrorizar





La agresión de la criatura, de la criatura...

Ten piedad, ten piedad, ten piedad,

Es la vida del gansito, del gansito,

De la cuidad


Del sur al norte volando

Plumas llenas de paisaje

No le pongas piedra al viaje

Ni barreras delirando

Gansito que vas pasando

Por el monte y la cuidad

Alas de la eternidad

En los puntos cardenales

Te besan los manantiales

Tus plumas de libertad

Corre gansito, de los niños






Comes summer, comes spring

The need every moment brings

It's a feeling

A desire

That you must have


For my collection, health and happiness

Abundant in my hands I'm happy then

For my collection, health

For my collection, health and



I feel so happy!

Oh with my things

Content with my content

Things and things

This and that

Happy, Oh so Happy

I’ve gotta have it


Store, store, store...

I want and need more, more, more

Fill my burrow to the core

But it's…..


For my collection, health and happiness

Abundant in my hands I'm happy then

For my collection, health

For my collection, health and



Sun (sun) shines (shines) but it blocks, but it blocks the sunlight

It's a pot of gold, it's my life I hold

And I feel I'll die now






On rolling hills

Nestled in setting skies

Anticipating the sun’s retreat

I slowly, patiently, wait for the night

Invisible, until it’s time to manifest

To descend into your garden

And feast upon your pet


You will never know what it’s like to be me

You will never see me cry

I will howl at the wind

Take my song to the sky


Throes of progress echo in my den

The rumble in my belly knows no end

Angels at work, city is bustling

Cloak of darkness

Coyotes are hustling





You will never know what its like to be me

You will never see me cry

I will howl at the wind

Take my song to the sky

You will never know what it’s like to be me

You will never see me cry

If the still of the night

Won’t feed me,

I will do what I must to survive!

There is only so much more one can pave

There is only so much one can take

There is only so much more one can make, break, hate





Palomo cojo y moribundo

Manchado de aceite

Vuela entre las palmas de una cuidad


Buscando calor

Sueña de un amor

A la vista

El Palomo caminando se menea

Va el palomo a paso vagabundo

Se menea

Se siente elegante

Y va el palomo a paso vagabundo

Se menea

Le baila a la amante

Se acerca (Pero no lo ven)

Se inclina (Pero no lo ven)

Se esponja (Pero no lo ven)


Paloma, palomita vuela entre las nubes

Amor correspondido no siempre ocurre

Paloma, palomita en cuidad de amores

Amores, temblores




Pero no lo ven

Pero no lo ven






"Disculpa mi indiscreción"

Dijo la araña con convicción

La araña rodeaba a su preso,

un peso y lamento

En el corazón


Tieso el preso

Los ojos lo seguían

Ese elegante animal

Que poco a poco...

Ese elegante animal

Que poco a poco se lo comía


Se lo comía

Tela- tela telaraña

Que la lluvia baja y baña

Entra el sol por una gota de agua

Arco iris que de desata






It bends to the wind

It shines by the light of the moon


A butterfly slowly appears

The freeway hums a familiar tune

Protected from the shadows

City Bridge Cocoon


A blade of grass sprouting through concrete

Nature’s slow but steady might

City bridge

Surrogate womb

Butterflies take flight

underneath the smog and city lights

City bridge

Surrogate womb




Puente que atraviesa la gente


Don’t look back


A blade of grass sprouting through concrete

Natures slow but steady might

City Bridge

Fly, fly, fly move into the sky

Don't look back little butterfly

Don't look back no more, no more


City bridge cocoon…….





Tecolote, Predator

Tecolote, Night watcher

Messenger of fate, Tecolote

Messenger of fate, Tecolote


Feel majestic

Feel full moon night

Wings Gliding over the city

Element of surprise


His shadows lurks obstructing my moonlight

His shadows lurks obstructing my moonlight

His wisdom brings on the night

His wisdom brings on the night


Tecolote Celestial night

Tecolote Traveler, Life unraveler

Settles with a song and a look

Settles with a song and a look

With a song and a look...

With a song and a look

Don’t follow me

Give me more time

Cántale a la luna

En esta vida solo hay una




Perr@ Caliente



Look at the dog

It's coming near me

It's off it's leash

But it cant hear me

It's wagging tail turns in between it's thighs


The heat, vibes

Panting, begging eyes

Drooling, foaming at the mouth

Gyrating thighs

Gyrating thighs


Perro Caliente

Perra Amor ardiente


Pet me

Cars running past

Hit and run

Scars are fading fast

Please, please, give me want

I'll take what I can get

Hit and run

Look at my scars they're fading fast!



Produced by Quetzal (Quetzal Flores, Martha González,

Tylana Enomoto, Juan Pérez, Peter Jacobson and Alberto López)

Recorded by Joel Soyffer at Coney Island Studios (Glendale, CA)

Vocals recorded by John Avila at Brando’s Paradise

Additional vocals recorded by Quetzal Flores at Padawan Studios

Mixed by Joel Soyffer at Coney Island Studios (Glendale, CA)

Mastered by Robert Hadley at The Mastering Lab (Ojai, CA)

Record design by Tylana Enomoto and Ranei Lopez

Cover Photo by Cynthia Perez

Website design and films by Scott Macklin

Additional filming by Angelica Macklin, Case Macklin, Steve McMahon,

Yoji Abe, Iris Viveros, Monica De La Torre,& Yessica Garcia

All songs published by Ifawehinmi Music (BMI), LA Casper (BMI).

© 2014 Quetzal.

All rights reserved.


Purchase the album & for more information

please see Artivist Entertainment




Thank you to our community and fundraising contributors! This album could not have happened without you. Finally, thank you to our parents and families. Your patience and love continue to propel us forward.






Do you have a favorite picture of an urban animal that you'd like to share?  Upload your picture to Instagram and use the hashtag #quetzanimalespic.  Let us know where the picture was taken.