The Carnivaleros


I started the Carnivaleros in 2001 and began recording my music under that name in 2003. It was a concocted name I felt embodied the spirit of the music I was writing and thinking about at the time. The name seems to have fit the spirit of the music I’ve written and recorded but the downside is there are many who associate Carnivaleros as a ‘Polka’ band or some sort of Zydeco affair. In my mind there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that but many people think of Polkas as third class music, and Zydeco, what’s that? The truth of the matter is my songs contain elements of Blues, Zydeco, Cajun, Country, Rock, and yes, Polka (of course!). I see my songs as mini-movies, novellas put to music. If you are one of Those About To Rock or a firm traditionalist, my music is not for you. It’s not for children, either, although a melody or two might be contagious.

During the pandemic I did record a new CD called Waiting For the Big One, and released it October, 2020. As it turns out it’s the last of seven CDs that will be recorded under the Carnivaleros name. (You can read all about it here)

There were a handful of musicians and singers in Tucson (primarily Karl Hoffmann, Connor Gallaher, Billy Yates, Cristina Williams, and Katherine Byrnes) and the Kansas City area (both Kelley J Hunt and Kelly E Hunt along with brother Greg Mackender) that stepped up and said YES to the project, all on 12 brand new songs to share with you.

The good news is you can easily order your copy by clicking on the Store link above.

L-R: Karl Hoffmann (Bassist, Co-Producer of CDs, Mixmaster) and Gary Mackender (Songwriter, Accordion, Keyboards, Drums, Lead Vocals) hanging out in the La Cocina Courtyard, Tucson, Arizona.

CD History

Waiting For the Big One | 2020
Tallsome Tales | 2018
Dreams Are Strange | 2016
Strictly Tabu | 2014
Happy Homestead | 2009
Lost In the Graveyard | 2006