Band happy to lend tunes for charity
Suavecito drummer/band manager Anthony Lukesh wanted to jam with people he was comfortable with.
So why not recruit family.
Joining Lukesh are his dad Carl Lukesh, his uncle Lorenzo “Porky” Valenzuela and family friend Mark Howes.
Suavecito is a variety band that plays rock, Spanish, country and oldies. However, the band’s specialty is comprised of New Mexican style rancheras and cumbias.
Suavecito has donated its time to many charities around the state. In fact, the band has played for several fundraisers in the Socorro area such as the San Miguel Fiestas, the Norma Lucero, the Justice Garcia and the Nadia Faith Contreras benefit dances. Suavecito has have also performed for other New Mexico church fiestas.
“Suavecito has generously donated to those in need,” Socorro resident Melissa Baca said. “Without their generosity, the benefits would not have had such great success.”
Carl Lukesh picked up the guitar at 9 years old and played with pal Valenzuela. Later, he played with his uncle, the late Clifford Lukesh, who composed many original songs that are recorded by other New Mexico artists and are still played on the radio today.
Carl Lukesh also played with Gabriel Baca, The Vibratones, Rising Son (Anthony Rosas), Flex 5 (Murillo brothers), Gary Stendal and La Raza Unida. He took a break from music, but then revived his career with Wild Card (Clint and Kyle Martin). Once again, he came out of retirement when his son Anthony convinced him to play lead guitar in Suavecito.
Anthony Lukesh started playing the drums early at 9 years old. He watched other musicians and learned how to play by ear. He played a song or two when his dad played with the Wild Card, but his first gig was at a wedding. He inherited a set of Ludwig Vistalite drums from his dad, which were given to him, from his great uncle Clifford. He started Suavecito because it was a lifelong dream to play music with his father.
“I look up to my dad because he is a very talented musician,” Anthony Lukesh said. “There is something about the spontaneity in the way he plays. He makes the guitar sing. He is humble and is not self-centered.”
Anthony Lukesh also performs with the Kyle Martin Band at venues such as the Dirty Bourbon, Graham Central Station, Broken Bottle Brewery, the Range Café and the Damn Bar. Additionally, he has performed with Al Hurricane, Al Hurricane Jr., AJ Martinez, and Tanya Griego.
Valenzuela is a lead vocalist; he performed with La Raza Unida and Nitefall.
“My uncle Porky has a unique voice; he is able to deliver diction that make different songs work,” Anthony Lukesh said.
Howes played bass guitar for bands such as the 80s band Southern Rail, Roadhouse and Euphoria. He is a backup vocalist, but is lead vocalist on a number of ’70s and ’80s rock ‘n’ roll tunes. Howes has always been a rocker, but he also knows some Spanish tunes.
“He has been a tremendous help to the band because he was able to learn many Spanish songs in a short amount of time,” Lukesh added.
Suavecito has guest members that occasionally perform including David “The Saxman” Luna and Joe Sena from Albuquerque, Lenny Pena from Grants and Ray Konico of Laguna.
Suavecito has played at the local venues the Capitol Bar and the 4017 Fraternal Order of Eagles.
“They did an excellent job. They brought in a good crowd, and the club was profitable,” said President and Bar Manager Mike Jojola. “The dance brought new faces and prospective members to the club.”
Suavecito recently released a CD titled “Que Padre”; the band is hosting a CD release party on Friday, May 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Capitol Bar. There will be food in addition to T-shirts and CDs that will be on sale.
“Suavecito, has become one of New Mexico’s most popular bands,” Capitol owner Joanna Aguilar-DeBrine said. “Anthony Lukesh and the gang are great musicians who obviously love to play and love to get the crowd dancing. Although they play a wide variety of music, nothing packs the dance floor faster than when they play traditional New Mexico music. It’s a real crowd pleaser.”