Bakersfield, CA Latin ska veterans Mento Buru have been going strong since 1992, with releases on the Moon Ska and Steady Beat labels, and this week they'll be releasing their first-ever holiday EP, East Bakersfield Christmas.

"Christmas time is our favorite time of year, so we put something together guaranteed to lift spirits and dancing feet around the Christmas tree," says vocalist Matt Munoz. "Anything set to a ska or reggae beat is sure to bring out the tamales and egg nog with mezcal in East Bakersfield. These songs were personally handpicked, arranged and performed with heart, soul, and of course ska. We hope you enjoy them as much as we had fun recording them."

The EP features ska covers of Augie Rios' 1958 Spanglish cha-cha-cha novelty song "Donde Esta Santa Claus?" (including a bonus track version sung entirely in Spanish), "Jingle Bell Rock," "Feliz Navidad," Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)," and the traditional instrumental English folk song "Greensleeves" that the "What Child Is This?" Christmas carol is set to. They're all familiar, heartwarming songs, and hearing them with upbeat ska/reggae rhythms should bring an extra smile to your face this skaliday season.

The EP officially hits streaming services on Wednesday (11/25), but we're premiering a full stream of it now, along with the video for "Donde Esta Santa Claus?", which is made up of quarantine-friendly studio footage. “When you watch the video, you’ll see a lot of people smiling. There’s a reason for that,” said drummer Cesareo Garasa. “The sessions went really quickly, around 20 hours over four days, and were inspired by not only what Christmas means to each of us, but the positivity and excitement we all felt as it all came together. There was a real festive, communal feeling making this EP and it shows.”

Watch the video and stream the full EP below...

Mento Buru

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