The Last Bandoleros: an American band you need to know!

I have been waiting for this moment a while and cannot express how excited I am to introduce my super talented friends from The Last Bandoleros! Just a couple of weeks ago, they were performing in Zurich and shared the stage with no other than the legendary Sting! I mean, how many new artists do you know who get to perform alongside a Super Star on their first world tour ever? 

I met Derek James when working in New York at Creative Content Agency Blonde + Co. While practicing and performing at night, Derek edited beautiful videos for our top Beauty clients during the day. Jerry Fuentes, who then worked at the Apple Store would sometimes not only get us discounts but also compose soundtracks for our videos. Everyone loved having them around because they were so much fun. They even performed at our parties! So you can imagine the pride we all feel knowing that today they get to rock the biggest stages in the world…with Sting!

It was so nice to spend time with them in Zurich and show them around. Derek actually had the courage to jump in the freezing lake! He didn’t last as long as he thought he would but nevertheless he jumped! Every minute with these guys was filled with gags and one-liners. They have the most amazing sense of humour and together they become unstoppable – the banter exchange between them is priceless!

Thanks for the shoutout guys!

According to RollingStone magazine, The Last Bandorelos is THE band to watch for!  So keep your eyes and ears open – you will not regret it. They are changing the game of Country/Americana music with their unique flair and style.

There is something to be said about seeing friends who, after years of dedication, hard work and perseverance get a spotlight of their own in front of thousands of people. Not only does it bring hope but it also teaches a big lesson. 

Now let’s meet The Last Bandoleros!

How did this band start?

The band started 3 years ago as a writing project.  After just one session, we knew we had stumbled upon a special combination, and that gave birth to The Last Bandoleros! (comprised of Diego Navaira, Derek James, Jerry Fuentes, and Emilio Navaira)

What were you each doing before forming Last Bandoleros?

Each of us have been playing music our entire lives.  Before TLB, we each had our own musical projects, and Diego was just starting to improve his magic tricks on the side.

Why the name Last Bandoleros?

We chose The Last Bandoleros after a few months of texting back and forth between New York and Texas.  This name beat out Derek’s idea of “Wizard Sticks.”

What would you say is Last Bandoleros’ genre? How does it fit into the charts?

Our music can be hard to put into a single genre because we mix rock with americana and country with 4-part harmonies and tejano accordion.  We call it fun.  

Who is responsible for what? 

We all write the music and lyrics to every song together, a rare setup for most modern bands.  We’re like a 4-headed creative creature.  On stage, Emilio plays the drums, Diego plays the bass, and Derek and Jerry play the guitar.  All four of us sing.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

The room we’re in, a dream one night, a conversation, we pull our inspiration from everywhere.  Diego is still trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat, but he needs more magic lessons.  

Who are your idols?

We have too many musical inspirations to mention – The Beatles, The Eagles, Van Halen, Tom Petty, The Police and of course Emilio and Diego’s dad, Emilio Navaira, just to name a few.

How did your collaboration with Sting begin?

Our Sting collaboration started with Jerry being called in on a session to play guitar.  This led to more opportunities involving our whole band, including singing on his latest record “57th and 9th” and most recently opening for him on his world tour!

Did you ever imagine to be touring with him and being on his album?

We pinch ourselves daily getting to do what we love with an icon like Sting.  

What have you learned from working with such a legend?

Sting is the ultimate musical mentor, and beyond music, a genuinely lovely human.  From his songwriting craft to his vocal prowess, his grace and class on and off the stage, we try and soak it all up like a sponge.  

What have you learned from your collective experiences and life lessons?

Perseverance is your best friend.  Magic makes life more fun.  

How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

Laughter. Or you just make the same mistake twice and turn it into something interesting.

Where do you want to go after this? What are the goals for the near future?

We’re excited to do another tour as a headlining act.  We can’t wait to come back to Europe and share more of our music with a wider audience.

DOL’S TAKEAWAY: Never give up dreaming. Keep moving and believing because eventually, after many trials and tribulations, you will get closer and closer to your dream. Even if you don’t get exactly what you want, the journey alone will be well worth it! Let’s not let life obstacles or our fears of failure restrain us from trying our best. There is always a silver lining on every cloud 🙂

For more information about the Sting 57th and 9th Tour dates, click here.

Featured image by no other than Glenn Chocky!


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