Ponce de Leon is an art band consisting of musical compositions by Gregory McKenna, with lyrics, vocalization, narrative and performative concepts by John P. Hogan, bass-playing and management of backup singers by David Reich. Ponce de Leon has often employed a rotating cast of backup singers and dancers (“the party-back”) whose membership has included Carrie Collins, Jonathan Butt, Audrey Chan, Wyatt Tuzo, Nina Alvarez and others.
Ponce de Leon seeks to reconcile the sexualized hipster death drive with the liberal establishment’s need for order. PDL intended to allow for the underground art/music scenester to face his/her imperialist impulse directly. Ponce De Leon was conceived with the idea that, if we have a collective need or will to impose our belief system on others, we should at least acknowledge, accept, and confront it without guilt or insincere self-reproach.
Ponce de Leon’s songs are inspired by baroque music, progressive rock, electronic dance music and early hip-hop. Most of our lyrics are about Florida, Ponce de Leon, colonialist encounters and conflicts with Native American tribes. Ponce de Leon the explorer was chosen as our namesake because, as a historical figure, he is considered both a despised conquistador and a quixotic fool who searched fruitlessly for the Fountain of Youth only to die at the hands of local natives. In this way, Ponce de Leon is the consummate millennial American.