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The Houston-based Latin band La Mafia will perform free shows in Kosovo and Bosnia as part of a United Service Organizations tour, according to a USO release.

The band will perform Thursday to Tuesday at bases in the region, but the release didn’t specify which locations.

The band will set aside time to meet military personnel, tour job posts and pose for pictures. La Mafia has made two prior USO tours. In November 2005, they performed for troops stationed at Fort Carson, Colo., and they held a January show for troops stationed in Germany and the Netherlands.

La Mafia is considered by some to be one of the most versatile and influential Latin bands, crossing contemporary pop sounds with traditional Mexican influences, the release said. La Mafia recently released its 36th album, “Nuevamente,” on the heels of its critically acclaimed 2005 release, “Para el Pueblo,” which won the group the 2005 Latin Grammy in the “Grupero (Group) category.”

The group also recently released a greatest hits CD, “La Historia de La Mafia: Los Exitos.” Members include vocalist Oscar de la Rosa, keyboardist/accordionist Armando Lichtenberger Jr., drummer Joe Gonzales, keyboardist/vocalist David de la Garza, bassist Tim Ruiz and guitarist Ivo Bove.

The group has been performing for more than two decades. But it was its first release on CBS International/Sony Records that propelled the group to stardom. “Estas Tocando Fuego,” released in 1991, sold more than a million copies.

Wild Gypsy touring U.S. embassies across globeWild Gypsy is living up to its name this month, at least when it comes to traveling.

The musical group is in the midst of a tour that includes stops at eight locations in five countries in two weeks, according to a news release.

The band, which has headlined several Armed Forces Entertainment tours before, plays a variety of music. Lead singer Judi Richardson’s father served in the Air Force for 24 years.

The current tour began in Turkey on July 1 and has already had stops at U.S. Embassies in Jordan and Egypt. Next up are free concerts in Souda Bay, Crete, at 8 p.m. Thursday, followed by stops at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, at 9 p.m. Saturday, Cyprus and Izmir Air Base in Turkey at 7 p.m. on July 13. The tour winds up with a 7:30 p.m. show at Aviano Air Base in Italy on July 14.

The band has performed in 26 countries and 49 states over the past 10 years and has made television appearances on “Good Morning America,” and on MTV and VHI, according to the release.

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