I met Shin back in 2000, when I went with Quetzal to Tokyo to document their tour. I learned that Shin had lived in East LA as a college student in the mid-80s, doing a study-abroad home stay. He had been inspired by Chicano books, films, and music—specifically 1970s bands like El Chicano and Tierra—and he had come to LA because he wanted to experience the Chicano culture first hand. He even took Chicano Studies classes at East LA College.
On a recent visit to LA, Shin told me that it was his dream to bring over musicians from Japan so they could perform with musicians from East LA. Specifically, he wanted to bring Japanese musicians that play different types of Latin music. He believed that audiences would appreciate the heart and soul they put into the music, and that it would be amazing to see this sort of collaboration.
Thus, the idea for TRANSPACIFIC MUSICLANDS was born.