Malo's current lineup includes:
Arcelio Garcia, lead vocals; Ramiro Amador, bass; David George, drums; Gabriel Manzo, lead guitar; Jay Rossette, 2nd lead guitar; Daniel Cervantes, keyboards; Frank Bailey, lead trumpet; Pete Rodriguez, trumpet, trombone; Jack Musgrove trumpet, flogahorn; and Tony Menjivar, congas / timbales. Another addition to the current Malo is Arcelio’s son, Octaviano, an excellent singer and performer in his own right.
Founded in 1972 during what some would note as the first big explosion of Latin-influenced rock music, Malo recorded and released four albums for Warner Bros. Records over the following two years.
Most will no doubt recall Malo from their singles that peppered pop radio at the time. The most successful of these was, of course, "Suavecito." By the early 1970s, Latin rock, of which bands like Santana and War are prime examples, was just coming into existence. At the time, the word on the street was that another Bay Area band, Azteca, who had been put together by ex-Santana sideman and occasional Malo timbales player Coke Escovedo, were likely to next band that would be able to best take artistic and fiscal advantage of the success of the official Santana Latin rock formula. But it was a group by the name of Malo, formerly calling themselves The Malibus, that stepped up to the challenge.
Malo were already flirting with Latin rhythms and percussion by the time they were spotted by future Malo record producer David Rubinson, who had signed Carlos Santana's band Santana to Columbia Records a few years earlier. Rubinson was impressed with the band from the very first he saw them play, at a seamy San Jose Avenue Club, and soon he was helping spread the word about the explosive Latin rock party down sounds of Malo. After impressing A&R executives at Warner Bros., Malo were signed to an exclusive recording contract.