"After the performance, five members of La Excelencia attended an after party with students at the LALACS house, hosted by La Alianza. Ten students gathered with the band members for pizza and talk about the music. Several students from Puerto Rico attended and enjoyed talking with the Puerto Rican band members, and much of the conversation was in Spanish. Photo by Rob Strong."
"A student asked about how they all got together as a group. Jose told the story about how he was working for ABC television as an accountant, and Edwin was doing sales for ESPN. A coworker learned that Jose played congas and said, “Oh, you have to meet Edwin, he sings!” Edwin came to hear Jose’s band and said, “You guys suck. But, I have some ideas, and I could help you out.” Eventually the other vocalists left the group and Edwin took over and took the band in a new direction. Photo by Rob Strong."
"One student asked where they draw their inspiration, and Jose gave a really beautiful speech about how the group gets inspiration from the people who listen to their music. He talked about their new album, Ecos del Barrio, which translates as Echos of the Barrio. He told stories about some of the people who inspired the song. One was a young woman, a beauty queen in her hometown in Brazil, who travelled to New York to become a model. Once there, she lacked the language, knowledge, and support to provide for herself and ended up selling her body to survive. He spoke about the immigrants who come to the United States to work and make a better life for their families. All these people and their stories are the inspiration for their music. Photo by Rob Strong."