Artist Profiles: Xavier Quijas Yxayotl

Xavier Quijas Yxayotl

Xavier Quijas Yxayotl was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, of Huichole heritage (his indigenous name, “Yxayotl,” is Nahuatl for “tears”). Originally an artist, in the 1970’s he left city life and moved to the mountains of Jalisco and Nayarit, Mexico, to live with his Huichole relatives and the Tepehaunes people. There, Xavier studied and played pre-Columbian instruments, participating in ceremonies and rituals. He developed a passion for making museum quality indigenous instruments – Mayan and Aztec drums and flutes, turtle shell drums, rain sticks, log drums, rattles, gourds.

Xavier has spent most of his life constructing and playing these instruments. He says “All that I do comes from a spirit within me, music is a live representation of nature. In looking at my cultural and musical roots, I realize music crosses all barriers! It was at this time that I decided to form a group and name it América Indígena. The group is composed of people who share my musical sentiments”. During their travels of concerts and ceremonies they interpret the authentic music of the Mayans, Aztecs, Tarahumaras, Yaquis, Tepehuans and Huicholes.

Xavier also sings in Tarahumara and his native Huichol and Nahuatl Languages. They perform magical rituals that captivate the audience providing an unforgettable experience to their audiences as their music is said to cure the soul and spirit. “The concerts are not just for entertainment. I give them a special message with serious significance” he says. “Through them I express the origin and true meaning that exists in that “hidden” world unknown to the generations of our times – this is an ancient music for new generation. I hope that with my music I am able to bring you at least a little of the force of our ancestors, and I hope to captivate your soul and your spirit!”

Discography:

America Indigena – Music Of Ancient Mexico ‎(1994)
Codex – Music Of Ancient Mexico (America Indigena/Canyon Records, 1997)
Singing Earth ‎(Canyon Records, 2001)
Aztec Dances ‎(Canyon Records, 2002)
Mayan Ancestral Music ‎(2005)
The Color Of Morning ‎(Canyon Records, 2007)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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