Panamá 77 – a vibrant and verdant suite of multi-textural, jazz-laced psychedelic instrumental folk- funk – is the debut album by Panamá-born, Chicago-based drummer and DJ Daniel Villarreal.
Though it’s a debut work in the eyes of the world, Villarreal has long been a widely known and beloved character on the Chicago music scene. On almost any night of the week, you’ll find him DJing at atleast one spot on bustling 18th Street in his home neighborhood of Pilsen. (The decadent track “18th & Morgan” is an homage to that strip, with its lowrider meets Roy Ayers vibe, vividly depicting Villarreal’s daily life driving to a gig in his classic baby-blue Mercedes sedan, wearing a beaver-skin Stetson and tinted aviators.) If he’s not there, he’s playing drums with Dos Santos, Valebol, The Los Sundowns or Ida y Vuelta (all bands he co-leads), or sitting in with Wild Belle or Rudy De Anda.
Villarreal may be most known for his big style and magnetic personality, but to musicians on the scene, it’s as much for his talents as a malleable and reliable drummer, with a deep pocket in many styles and sounds.
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