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A first EP; A huge night

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 9th, 2016

Members of the group Pan Dulce are ready to release their first EP.

Local band Pan Dulce to play at Appleton Saturday

WATSONVILLE — Right after hitting their one-year anniversary together, local music group Pan Dulce is preparing to drop their first EP as part of their performance at the Appleton Grill Saturday.

The group, which has six members, hails from all over the county including Watsonville, Aptos and Scotts Valley, in addition to Santa Clara County and into Castroville. But while distance and the variety of schedules has brought difficulty, Pan Dulce is ready to release their first single.

A first band for many of them, members include main vocalist Gabi Bravo, trombone player and backup vocalist Alejandro Rayburn, guitar and hand percussionist Chris Harrison, guitarist Adam Rentaria, Kito Rayburn on bass, and Ryan Sills on drums.

But while they have a set list and hours of music at their disposal to entertain with now, the beginning of creating together came swiftly and without warning.

"Actually, how we started is was we had a gig — we were opening for the Rayburn Brothers in Aromas, and we didn't have any songs," Kito Rayburn said. "We had to write songs in order to play."

Now they have just under 20 songs, with some of their largest gigs at places like the Crow’s Nest, Fish House and Appleton Grill. And because they all contribute to the music writing process, their sound encompasses several genres.

"We are very much like friends, we are pretty open to just throwing something out there," Bravo said. "We listen to different music, but once we come together we are open to each others’ tastes and I think that reflects in our music."

Since their inception, their main audience hails from Watsonville, something members say they both appreciate and incorporate in their music. With Bravo singing songs in both English and a few in Spanish, she said they have begun to see much more of a following.

"It's fun to bring life to Watsonville because it's a small town and there are only a few places you can play," Bravo said. "But when you play there, the people are loyal, because they keep coming."

The ages of their fans varies as well, inclusive of both younger and older generations. But beyond fitting in, they say that it is important to feel fresh and up to date.

"It's actually a lot of fun playing for a new crowd," Rayburn said. "To expose our music to new people."

The biggest challenge Rayburn said is making schedules work for six people, especially when they are as spread out. But still, while it is hard to juggle input from so many, he said they have "gelled" even as they have improved.

"We have pushed ourself a lot the last few months to get better and have this EP," Bravo said. "We have improved a lot, it is a huge night for us because we worked so hard."

They will be joined and sharing the stage with two other musical groups: Pacific Roots and Qiensave. The EP project started almost six months ago, with the next goal being to complete a full album.

"The EP was kinda practice, figuring out how to record," Rayburn said. "We set up our practice space, spent the last month cleaning it out and setting it up for recording so we are going to start our full length album this weekend for sure."

Hoping to build up the shows a bit more, they plan on keeping people up to date while producing it with videos of progress over the next few months.

"I definitely want to thank every venue that let us play because we have some money to be able to record," Bravo said. "We all agree we would like to have a few albums released before we come to any conclusion."

And as for how that will play out for Pan Dulce, named after the variety of sweet Mexican breads, they said they are excited to see where they can go.

"As of now, I am proud of still being together and pushing ourselves," she said. "We just worked so hard for this EP. I hope people like it."


Pan Dulce will be at the Appleton Grill, 410 Rodriguez St., for their performance and EP release 7 p.m. Saturday. For information, visit www.pandulceband.com.

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