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Arcelio Garcia (1946–2020), lead singer for Latin rock band Malo

by Linnea Crowther

Arcelio Garcia was the lead singer for the Latin rock band Malo, known for their 1972 hit single “Suavecito.”


Garcia was a founding member of Malo, along with bandmates including Richard Bean and Jorge Santana (1951 – 2020). Malo grew out of Garcia’s first band, the Malibus, and rose to iconic status in the Latin music community after “Suavecito” climbed to No. 18 on the Billboard chart in 1972. Other notable tracks include “Nena,” “Café,” and “Chevere.” While Malo’s membership came and went, changing substantially over the years, Garcia remained with the band for the rest of his life. Malo toured with rock acts including Quicksilver Messenger Service and Ten Years After. 

Garcia on Malo’s concerts

“We call it an hour and a half of aerobics. We move for a whole hour and a half.” —from a 2013 interview with Monterey County Now


Tributes to Arcelio Garcia

Full obituary: San Francisco Chronicle

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