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Can you play friendly rock and still win awards? Apparently so, if you're Miami-based Bacilos. Formed in the mid-'90s, the Latin Grammy-winning trio was started by Colombian Jorge Villamizar and Puerto Rican Jose Javier Freire, who were both studying at the University of Miami at the time. After the breakup of an earlier band, the two musicians invited André Lopes, who was then in a Brazilian band, to play with them. The combo clicked immediately, and Bacilos was born. Though their progress was slowed down by Jorge's visa problems, they recorded Madera in 1999 with the help of parental contributions and pressed just a thousand copies of the release. A thousand was enough, however: a few made their way into the hands of label execs, and within the year WEA Latina had re-released Madera, calling it simply Bacilos. The album was nominated for two Latin Grammy awards, and in 2002 they released Caraluna, which won Best Pop Album and Best Tropical Song (for "Mi Primer Million"). 2005's Sinverguenza beefed up the band's tropical influences while maintaining their pop-friendly accessibility.
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