Founded in 2007 out of the ashes of a few others bands including a couple of ska units, the 12-piece gigged regularly throughout Los Angeles. By 2010, they were invited to perform on boogaloo’s home court at a tribute concert in NYC for salsa legend Joe Cuba. “It was one of the highlights of my life,” said Assassins singer Charles Farrar, in a 2017 LA Weekly feature.
Just as the original wave of boogaloo was a fusion of different cultures and styles, so too do Farrar and his bandmates draw on outside material such as reggae and neo-soul. These days, about half of the Assassins’ set has a salsa feel while the other half features boogaloos and mashups of different rhythms, such as the Puerto Rican bomba and Cuban Mozambique.
After releasing Old Love Dies Hard, their debut album, in 2013 the band quickly received airplay from tastemakers such as KCRW 88.9 FM in Santa Monica and DJ/producer/label head Giles Peterson. In 2016, they signed a licensing deal with the famed Fania Records salsa label.