Marimba Tropical
History
Marimba Tropical began in Albuquerque in 1997 under the name “Marimba Dulce”. Our first gig was held in historic Abo, New Mexico with several University of New Mexico percussion majors. Lucas Critchfield then scaled down the group into a duo with Brian Chavez, then Willy Larson, and finally found its long-standing member Mike Anaya.  
Lucas took Mike and his van to Chiapas, Mexico in 1999 and again in 2002 to purchase marimbas and study the art of marimba playing. (The first trip to Chiapas was Lucas and his dad in December 1993, which coincided with the Zapatista uprising as close as ten miles from where they were!)

In Mexico, Mike and Lucas performed in several cities including Cd. Juarez, Zaragoza, Zacatecas, Oaxaca, Tuxtla Gutierrez, and Venustiano Carranza. In his most recent trip to Chiapas, Lucas studied the art of marimba fabrication with master craftsmen in several workshops in Tuxtla Gutierrez and Chiapa de Corzo.
         

In 2007, Marimba Dulce celebrated their 10th Anniversary with a concert once again in Abo, New Mexico, this time in the nave of the ancient ruins. By this time, they had added drummer Anthony Baca to pep up the grooves. Not long after, Lucas packed up the marimbas and moved to Pomona, California, where he now resides.

Marimba Tropical came onto the scene with several former members of the Pacific Crest Drum & Bugle Corps and played our first gigs at the Back Door Lounge and Willy’s Pub near downtown Pomona. As the musicians went off to pursue graduate school and other endeavors, Lucas decided to go solo by recording backing tracks of the accompanying instruments. He also performs with guests on percussion and marimba, and can put together a full group for larger events. 
  
Lucas Critchfield
Lucas Critchfield is a music educator and percussionist living in Pomona, California. Before moving to the L.A. area, Lucas was the band director at Albuquerque High School (1999-2002), Del Norte HS (2004-2008), and several middle schools in New Mexico. Lucas earned his Bachelor of Music Education at the University of New Mexico and a Master of Music from New Mexico State University, where he taught his own marimba arrangements. He served as the principal percussionist for the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra for two seasons. 
 
Before his fascination with the marimba, Lucas played in percussion ensemble, steel drum band, the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps and the Santa Clara Vanguard, touring the United States for five consecutive summers. Lucas currently teaches elementary instrumental music for the Claremont Unified School District and percussion at Yucaipa High School. He is a member of the Pomona Concert Band and plays drums for several reggae bands.