Tag Archives: son jarocho

Mexican Roots Fusion and Social Fairness from the Villalobos Brothers

Villalobos Brothers – Somos

Villalobos Brothers – Somos (Villalobos Brothers, 2019)

The Villalobos Brothers hail from Veracruz in the Gulf of Mexico area. Their finely-crafted music includes an exquisite mix of traditional son jarocho, contemporary Latin jazz, catchy rock, flamenco and classical music.

The three brothers are violin virtuosos, with a beautiful technique that incorporates various influences, leaning on jazz and classical music. On Somos they treat the listener to fascinating violin interplay and poetic justice.

There is a wonderful mix of acoustic-leaning pieces and powerful tracks with drum set, electric bass and electric guitar.

The lyrics on Somos convey messages of love, peace and social justice, focusing on corruption in their home state, inequality, environmental justice, the Ayotzinapa student murders and poverty. “We believe in music as a positive, necessary and inexhaustible healing force, and we live to share our creations. We are not only troubadours of love and brotherhood, but also activists, speaking against injustice, corruption, greed and impunity.

The lineup on Somos includes Luis Villalobos on vocals and violin; Alberto Villalobos on vocals and violin; Ernesto Villalobos on vocals and violin; Humberto Flores on electric and acoustic guitars, jarana; Rosa Avila on drums; Leo Sherman on electric and double bass; Arturo Stable on percussion on tracks; Javier Cabrera Jasso on percussion; Alberto Jiménez on electric guitar; Manuel Vásquez on cajón; and special guest Arturo O’Farrill on piano.

Somos is a charming and delightful cross-genre album rooted in tradition and social equity, forged by a group of talented young Mexican musicians.

Buy Somos

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Artist Profiles: Los Pregoneros del Puerto

Los Pregoneros del Puerto

Los Pregoneros del Puerto is a dynamic Mexican group that performs traditional jarocho music from the Mexican Gulf Coast. Led by Jose Gutiérrez on jarana, the group features Gonzalo Mata, and Manuel Vásquez. Guitarist Valente Reyes also performs regularly with the group. All of these musicians are native to the state of Veracruz, Mexico.

As young men, all three played together in Veracruz in the early 1960s and, after many years of separation, they were reunited in 1982. Gutiérrez, who was brought up in a family of ranchers and musicians, serves as the group’s lead singer, or pregonero (literally, “caller”).

Discography:

Music of Veracruz: The Sones Jarochos of Los Pregoneros del Puerto (Rounder Records, 1985)

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Artist Profiles: Tlen-Huicani

Tlen-Huicani

Tlen-Huicani remains one of the most faithful performers of the traditional folk music of Veracruz, Mexico. Since 1973, their music and international achievements have earned the honor of Best Folk Group in Mexico by the Union of Music and Theater Critics.

Tlen-Huicani, which means “the singers” in the indigenous Indian language of Nahuatl, makes the beautiful arpa jarocha or folk harp, the centerpiece of their music. Maestro, Alberto de la Rosa, is respected for his musicianship throughout Mexico and considered among the most outstanding folk harpists in the world. Under his direction, the group has mastered many types of Latin music including songs of emotion as heard on Concierto Romantico, or their innovative program of the traditional music of Mexico with orchestra, titled Cuerdas Veracruzanas.

Along with their traditional costumes and instruments, a concert with Tlen-Huicani is like taking a journey of Mexico’s music, time and place.

Discography:

Primeras Grabaciones (UV, 1983)
Raíces del Pueblo (Musart, 1985)
Veracruz Son y Huapango (UV, 1988)
Un Canto a Latinoamerica (Peerless, 1989)
Latinoamericano (Sonopress, 1990)
Jarocho (Peerless, 1991)
Pasión Jarocha (Global Entertainment, 1998)
Concierto Romántico Vol. 1 (At Home International Music, 1999)
Concierto Romántico Vol. 2 (At Home International Music, 1999)
Décimas y Romances del Papaloapan (UV, 2005)
De México a Paraguay (UV, 2009)
Navidad con Tlen-Huicani (UV, 2011)
Cantos Navideños (UV, 2015)
Misa Jarocha (2015)

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A Remarkable Meeting of Mexican and Chinese Plucked Strings

Wu Man & Son de San Diego – Fingertip Carnival (Wind Music, 2018)

Acclaimed Chinese pipa player Wu Man enjoys musical journeys, collaborating with musicians from other cultures as a member of the Silk Road Ensemble and other projects. On Fingertip Carnival she collaborates with Son de San Diego, a son jarocho ensemble from San Diego in California.

Fingertip Carnival celebrates the plucked string traditions of China and Veracruz State in Mexico. The album includes six traditional son jarocho songs along with with two recreated Chinese songs.
Wu Man & Son de San Diego provide beautiful interactions between the pipa and the traditional Mexican guitars: the jarana, guitarra de son, leoncita (a larger version of guitarra de son) and punteador (a small guitar).

The musicians that appear on Fingertip Carnival include Wu Man on pipa; Eduardo García on guitarra de son, jarana segunda, panpipes, vocals; Chris Mena on leoncita, punteador and vocals; Germain Lita on jarana tercera and vocals; Verónica Pacheco on guitarra de son and zapateado; Cindy Cox on jarana segunda, vocals, zapateado; Cris Juárez on jarana mosquito, vocals and zapateado.
Fingertip Carnival is an extraordinary meeting of cultures that brings together the beautiful traditions of southeastern Mexico and China.

Get the album from cdbaby.com

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Artist Profiles: Los Cenzontles

Los Cenzontles

Cenzontle is the Aztec word for mockingbird the bird of a hundred voices. Like the cenzontle, Los Cenzontles interpret a variety of regional Mexican styles. Los Cenzontles approach their performances with joyous energy sincerity and depth. Among the styles that they have interpreted are alabanzas, rancheras, pirekuas, son jarocho, Banda Sinaloense, tropical songs and dances of Mexico and the Caribbean and much more.

Since 1990 Los Cenzontles has worked with performed for and received support from numerous celebrities such as Linda Ronstadt Anthony Quinn Los Lobos Cheech Marin Yolanda del Rio Flaco JimÉnez Santiago JimÉnez Jr. Lalo Guerrero Gary Soto and Isabel Allende.

Line-up: Hugo Arroyo – Voice, tololoche (string bass) guitarrón, jarana; Don Gardner – Clarinet saxophone; Julian Gonzalez – Voice violin zapateado; Tregar Otton – violin tololoche palmas; Cristian Rodríguez – zapateado pandero bongos; Eugene Rodriguez – guitar vihuela guitarra de son; Lucina Rodriguez – Voice, zapateado; Fabiola Trujillo – Voice

Discography:

Con Su Permiso Señores (Arhoolie CD 435 1995)

Volando en los Cafetales (Mockingbird Records 1999)

Hypnotizada (Mockingbird Records 1999)

Amor Paz y Sinceridad (Mockingbird Records 1999)

Cancionero (Mockingbird Records 2000)

De Una Bonita compilation (Arhoolie, 2000)

Cuatro Maestros with Santiago Jimenez Jr., Atilano Lopez, Julian Gonzalez and Andres Vega. (Mockingbird Records 2001)

Media Vida (Mockingbird Records 2002)

Plan de la Villa with Julian Gonzalez (Mockingbird Records 2002)

Huapango (Urtext Records 2007)

Songs of Wood & Steel (Los Cenzontles 2008)

Senn-Sont-Less (Los Cenzontles 2008)

American Horizon (Los Cenzontles 2009)

Raza De Oro (Los Cenzontles 2010)

Regeneration (South Central Music 2012)

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Las Cafeteras Building Musical Bridges

Las Cafeteras – Tastes Like L.A. (Las Cafeteras Music, 2017)

Tastes Like L.A. is the new album by East Los Angeles band Las Cafeteras. The band performs a lively mix of Mexican roots music such as son jarocho (a mix of Spanish, indigenous and African music) from Veracruz with global sounds, reggae beats, neosoul, pop, swing, norteño and American folk music. Vocals are in Spanish and English. The lyrics range from social activism to having a good time.

The musical instruments include the classic jarana guitar from Veracruz, the requinto jarocho, Peruvian cajón, and zapateado (tap percussion).

The lineup includes Daniel Jesús French on jarana primera and segunda, vocals, organ, Moog synthesizer; David Flores on requinto jarocho; Denise Carlos on vocals, jarana primera, zapateado, glockenspiel; José Cano on cajón and percussion; Hector Flores on jarana tercera and vocals; and Leah Rosa Gallegos on vocals, quijada de burro, zapateado, percussion and melodica.

Guests: Gloria Estrada on u-bass; Jorge Mijambos on requinto, marimbol and vozarrona; Stewart Cole on trumpet; Eugene toale on organ, sax and flute; Fernanda Ulibarri on autoharp; Moisés Baqueiro on u-bass; Ben Reddell on guitar and bass; José Gurria-Cárdenas on pandeiro; Jaime Bishop on bass; and Greg Marino on flute and sax.

The music of Las Cafeteras represents the exciting multicultural mix on Los Angeles with a superb set of modern songs rooted in Mexican Caribbean tradition.

Buy the MP3 version of Tastes Like L.A. or the CD from lascafeteras.bandcamp.com

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Artist Profiles: Los Utrera

Los Utrera – Photo by Rodrigo Vázquez

Los Utrera is a group from Veracruz, Mexico that was founded in 1992 around the Son Jarocho traditions of this musical family and patriarch Esteban Utrera, who plays guitarra de son.

The group uses various forms of guitars including guitarra de son, jarana, and jarana barroca, along with quijada (donkey jaw), zapateado (foot percussion) and violin.

Throughout the years, Los Utrera have pushed the boundaries of traditional Son Jarocho introducing non-traditional instrumentation and then expanding their repertoire to include Son Huasteco, also of Veracruz.

They have performed in festivals in the United States and Europe.

Discography:

Son Jarocho, En el Hueco de un Laurel… Ay Soledad! (1996)
¡Ay Cosita! (2000)
Con Utrera Yo Aprendí (2004)
En Vivo at Chicago Old Town School of Folk Music (2006)
Esteban Utrera, Guitarra de Son (2008)
Para Curar un Dolor (2010)

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Sones Jarochos from Veracruz

La Bamba - Sones Jarochos from Veracruz
La Bamba – Sones Jarochos from Veracruz

Washington, DC, USA – Smithsonian Folkways has released a new album of sones jarochos from the Mexican state of Veracruz, La Bamba – Sones Jarochos from Veracruz (Smithsonian Folkways 40505, 2003).

Jarocho describes both the people and culture of the southern coastal plain of Veracruz, home for more than two centuries to one of Mexico’s most exciting musical traditions, the son jarocho. Although son jarocho is lesser known abroad than other Mexican styles such as corridos, cumbias and rancheras; songs such as “La Bamba,” “Cascabel,” and “Siquisirí” occupy a major spot in Mexico’s musical folklore.

José Gutiérrez, Felipe Ochoa, and Marcos Ochoa, raised on the tropical ranchos of Veracruz’s interior, are three of the most accomplished ambassadors of the modern-day son jarocho tradition. They play complex, hard-driving rhythms on the Veracruz harp and on the guitars called jarana and requinto, and sing high-pitched vocal melodies brimming with wit and regional pride. They have toured Europe, the United States, Central America, and Mexico, while in Veracruz they continue to enliven weddings, baptisms, public events, and celebrations of all kinds.

Buy La Bamba – Sones Jarochos from Veracruz.

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