Mento Buru Spreads Holiday Cheer with Kern County Students

Wednesday November 15, 2023

Local Latin reggae ska band Mento Buru is embracing the holiday spirit by recording a sequel to their beloved East Bakersfield Christmas album, and this time, they’re getting some help from Kern County students.

Thanks to the generous support of local donors and the Kern County Superintendent of Schools’ Education Foundation, Mento Buru secured over $6,000 for this new project. Their previous East Bakersfield Christmas album, released in 2020, was featured at CALM’s HolidayLights drive-thru events from 2020 to 2022. Now that they have the resources to create their next holiday album, the band has recruited help from students at Fremont Elementary School.

Photos by Matt Munoz.

Mento Buru lead singer Matt Munoz enlisted the assistance of his friend, Rosanna Valadez Osorio, a third-grade teacher with a musical talent of her own. Munoz was grateful for her involvement, especially given the time constraints.

“We were on a tight production deadline, so she helped a lot,” said Munoz. “Rosanna is also a member of the all-female mariachi group Dulce Armonia from here in Bakersfield. She sings and plays guitar. With her amazing talent, we were so blessed to have her and her students featured on the album.”

Students from Valadez’s class arrived at Summit Studio in downtown Bakersfield last week to add their voices to holiday classics like “Run Rudolph Run” and “Mi Burrito Sabanero (Little Donkey of the Savannah).” 

Munoz is excited to have collaborated with KCSOS and CALM, as well as other generous supporters, to make this recording project happen. Once completed, you can enjoy it at the CALM HolidayLights event and find it on all major digital music streaming platforms.

Don’t miss the chance to experience the holiday magic at this year’s HolidayLights; get your tickets at calmzoo.org.

By Jennifer Bryan

By Jennifer Bryan

Jennifer Bryan joined Kern County Superintendent of Schools in 2021 as a Communications Specialist. As a creative and motivated marketing communications specialist, she has a special knack for storytelling and content creation. Born and raised in Kern County, Jennifer has worked in major industries within the region such as agriculture and oil and gas before she made the transition to education.