Young Cajón Player Wins Hearts

ChicoSol contributing editor Lindajoy Fenley is traveling through Mexico, exploring influences on traditional music. She files this report from Mexico City after visiting with the well-known group Yolotecuani that plays the music of Tixtla, a small mountain town in central Guerrero state on the Pacific coast.


by Lindajoy Fenley

Years ago, 2-year-old Osvaldo Peñaloza captured my heart as he adeptly beat syncopated Tixtleco rhythms on a small wooden box — one open palm delivering solid sounds, while the other, gripping a wood block, created sharper accents. On this return trip to Mexico, I watched him play again. At 13, he’s an integral part of his parents’ band, Yolotecuani (Heart of the Tiger). read more

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HopPo Fuses Andean Sounds

A modern vision of songs from a past that remains current.

Ruben Albarran, aka “Juan, the one that acts as if he is singing,” and sometimes known as “Sizu Yantra” — it all depends if he is singing in one of the CDs of Café Tacuba (one of the greatest rock mestizo groups from the United Mexican States), or if he is electrified in one of his soloist projects. He is somehow the brains behind this interesting project that combines Andean sounds with the musical restlessness of Ruben “Elfego Buendia” and his musical partners, Rodrigo “Chino” Aros and Juan Pablo Villanueva from Chile and Alejandro Flores from Mexico. read more

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Dedication to Mercedes Sosa

by Leslie Layton
“All I Ask of God”

Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa died Oct. 4 at age 74. The news saddened a Sunday for millions of people who knew her voice that was deep and rich and her songs that were deep with meaning. Sosa became an icon because of both her native talent and her acquired courage to stand up to repressive regimes. She was once detained right along with her audience, which happened to be 200 students studying veterinary medicine.

In a way, Sosa symbolized what I came to love about Latin America during the decade of the 1980s, when I lived in Mexico City. Whether it was earthquakes that flattened cities or rigged presidential elections, people remained convinced that the struggle to improve their lives and achieve social justice was worthwhile. That was reflected and encouraged in the music of Sosa and her fellow Latin American folk artists who belonged to the musical movement nueva canción. read more

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see slideshow Flamenco

slideshow by Erik Aguilar

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