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Under the direction of pop music visionary Miguel Campello (vocals), Spanish fusion group Elbicho have made their way up from street performers to become European chart-toppers. Bandmembers Victor Iniesta (guitar), Carlos Tato (bass), Toni Mangas (drums) David Amores (percussion), Juan Carlos Aracil (flute), Mario Díaz (keys), and Pepe Andreu (trumpet) came together to realize Campello's vision of a mix of rhumba, funk, rock, and jazz sounds. The group's six original members (excluding Díaz) first met one another as students at Madrid's Escuela Popular de Música in September of 2001. Taking to the street to refine its unique mix of influences, the group began to develop a vision for a sound that would push the boundaries of Spanish popular music. With the flamenco style of their homeland as a base, Elbicho began to incorporate elements of Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and other pop musical styles. The band soon earned a reputation as one of Madrid's most sophisticated and edgy pop groups. A short two years after their formation, Elbicho released their debut record, Elbicho, on WEA International. Their world-infused style, expert musicianship, and spirited live performances made Elbicho a favorite in clubs nationwide. Their sophomore effort, Elbicho II, was released in 2005. The record expanded their fan base throughout Spain, but did little to break Elbicho into the world music scene at large. The group's third disc, Elbicho VII, hit European airwaves in force in 2007. The record quickly landed a spot on Billboard's European Top 100, earning the band international renown. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez