Posts

Image of Violin

World Music Instrument: The Huastecan Violin

Violin performance techniques and style found in son huasteco, a traditional musical style originating in Northeastern Mexico (also known as huapango), are unlike any that exists. The Huastecan violin differs only in style and technique from the ever-popular classical violin. However, paired with a huapanguera, eight-string bass guitar-like instrument, and jarana huasteca, a small five-string rhythm guitar, the violin found in the son huasteco tradition is arguably one of the most interesting and unique styles of violin performance.

The son huasteco is a form of traditional Mexican music that takes its name from the Huaxtec/Huastec indigenous group that inhabits the northeastern area of present-day Mexico. The word “son” in son huasteco, is used to describe the amalgamation of Spanish, indigenous Mexican, African, and other music styles and influences that evolved after the arrival of the Spanish in 1519, and during the colonial period of Mexico from 1521-1810.

instruments

Left to Right: jarana, violin, huapanguera (8-string)

What makes the son huasteco violin different from other Mexican son styles? It is an interesting question that involves a complicated answer. To put it simply, however, style, including note emphasis, and timing are what set apart this violin performance style from any other. Most sones (songs) from the huastecan region are in 6/8 meter (best described as repetitive counting from 1-6, similar to West African styles of music which highly influence eastern Mexican music genres). What makes the huastecan violin style of performance different from most others is the ability of the violinist to play with the timing during the improvisation of musical interludes. In other words, a violinist will drag the timing and drag the notes, and also rush the timing and the notes as they weave in and out of the rhythm set by the huapanguera and jarana huasteca in a sort of musical game that might throw some listeners off.

This article is one in a series of reports on the fascinating variety of musical instruments that audience members encounter through Center for World Music programs. 

The question is often asked, who is the greatest huastecan violinist of all time? Although I have my favorites, it is truly an unfair question due to the fact that what makes a son huasteco trio great is not the solo violin, or the abilities of the jarana and huapanguera; rather it is the entirety of the trio and how well they blend together and anticipate each other’s improvisatory flairs. Some of the all-time great trios include Camperos de Valles, Cantores de Pánuco, Trio Camalote, Hermanos Calderón, and Trio Armonía Huasteca, to name a few. Each of these trios comes from a different part of the northeastern region of Mexico. They all have unique styles based on their surroundings and the previous musicians whom they learned from.

The huastecan violin floats above the fixed pulsating rhythm provided by the jarana and huapanguera in a distinctive unpredictable flight pattern that will surely capture the attention of any listener.

Below are two examples of son huasteco performed by trio Eliodoro Copado of Camperos de Valles, and Juan Coronel of Cantores de la Huasteca.

Camperos de Valles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzPTVdOBfQc

Cantores de la Huasteca: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnhUbtzgEHc

 

Learn more about the author, Jorge Andres Herrera, and his family band, Hermanos Herrera.

Contact Info:
www.hermanosherrera.com
www.youtube.com/hermanosherrera
Twitter / Instagram: @hermanosherrera

Sonbros Records
sonbros@sbcglobal.net
(805) 794-1800

Cindy Carbajal Brings the Music and Culture of Mexico to Children

The Center for World Music’s World Music in the Schools program is delighted to profile teaching artist Cindy Carbajal.

A teacher for over 20 years, Cindy Carbajal has worked with a broad range of students in San Diego, from kindergarteners in City Heights to university students at UCSD. She has spent the majority of her teaching career in elementary school, where she loves to incorporate music and dance, most especially that of Mexico, into her physical education, math, science, social studies, and language arts classes.

Cindy has taught ballet folklórico classes for over 15 years. Since 2010, she has been playing Son Jarocho music and has traveled to Veracruz to study the music and dance forms of that musical tradition.  She frequently performs with the ensemble Son de San Diego, collaborating with CWM teaching artists Cristina Juárez and Eduardo García. Cindy also enjoys teaching the jarana—a small, guitar-like instrument important in Son Jarocho—as well as Jarocho vocal music and dance. She enjoys the community that both ballet folklórico and Son Jarocho have afforded her and hopes to participate in formal and informal playing of Son music for the rest of her life.

Since 2016, Cindy has presented school assemblies and taught summer camps and artist residencies for the Center for World Music.

Cindy Carabal (dancing on the tarima) teaching summer school students at Johnson Elementary School in July 2019

Cindy Carabal (right) performing with Son de San Diego at Albert Einstein Charter Elementary in February 2017

See also Edwardo García, Building Community Through Son Jarocho.

Fandango at Eduardo's

Eduardo García, Building Community Through Son Jarocho

Professor Eduardo García, a member of the San Diego-based son jarocho group Son de San Diego, teaches in the School of Arts at California State University San Marcos. He is also, we are proud to say, a teaching artist for the Center for World Music’s World Music in the Schools program. He has delved deeply into the study of son jarocho, the traditional music, dance, and songs of Veracruz, Mexico. His focus includes the instruments, the style of music, and above all creating a safe place for learning music and building community.

cynthia-_-eduardo-garciaEduardo’s interest in son jarocho regional folk music was sparked by an immersive study trip to San Andrés Tuxtla, Veracruz, Mexico in 2002. His journey to the home of son jarocho inspired his study of the tradition, taking him through many varied experiences in community-based music.

He believes it is important for young people to have access to as many musical cultures as possible. This global arts-based approach to learning brings the world to his students, and broadens their perspectives and sensibilities.

This particular music of Veracruz—son jarocho, son abajeño, or música de cuerdas, as it is known in different areas of the Sotavento region—is important because at its core lies the central component of cultivating community. Whether playing, singing, or dancing, this music is not created as a solo venture: it is a shared social activity. The instruments, the call and response nature of the singing, and the communicative percussion of the dancing between singers and musicians, creates myriad social and musical interactions. It is a social music, and Eduardo has tried to remain true to this central aspect of son jarocho music as he continues his efforts to cultivate a similar musical community in the San Diego region.cwm-festival-5-13-son-jarocho

— Cynthia Carbajal, Teacher at Lexington Elementary School in El Cajon, CA and Teaching Artist for the CWM’s World Music in the Schools

Read more about Eduardo García’s contributions to San Diego and his bridge-building efforts through the musical tradition of son jarocho:  

Sharing Music Across the U.S.-Mexico Border’s Metal Fence, New York Times — May 29, 2016

Son Jarocho Creates Community on Both Sides of the Border, KPBS — May 30, 2012

 Wu Man Makes Pipa an Instrument of Change, San Diego Union Tribune — May 8, 2014.

Watch a video:

Wu Man and Son de San Diego collaboration at the Carlsbad Music Festival.

World Music Instrument: The Jarana Jarocha

Jarana Three SizesThe jarana is an eight-string, five course instrument typically used in son jarocho music from Veracruz, Mexico. This style is also called música de cuerdas or son abajeño in other areas within the larger region of Mexico known as the Sotavento. The first and fifth courses of the jarana are single strings, while the second, third, and fourth courses typically consist of double strings. The most common tuning is G C E A G. The jarana, like many other stringed instruments in the Americas, is a Mexican adaptation of the Spanish vihuela.

There are typically several different sizes of the jarana, often played together, and sometimes using different tunings within the same ensemble. The three sizes of jarana shown in the photo are called tercera, segunda, and primera.

Luthiers (lauderos) carve the body, neck, and peghead of the jarana out of a single block of wood, with a thin soundboard glued to the front. Mexican cedar is the traditional material used in making these instruments, although woods such as mango, walnut, and others have more recently been used. For tuning, friction pegs made from a harder wood (much like those on a violin) are commonly fitted. The strings, formerly gut, are now made from nylon.

This article is one in a series of reports on the fascinating variety of musical instruments that audience members encounter through Center for World Music programs. 

— Eduardo García teaches jarana as an artist-in-residence for the Center for World Music, and is a professor in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at California State University San Marcos.

The CWM uses jaranas in its World Music in the Schools program made by Victor Francisco Siono: Taller de Lauderia. Guitarras de Son, Marimboles y Jaranas Victor Siono

Watch luthier Caramino Utrera Luna make a jarana.

Some video examples of jarana playing:
https://youtu.be/7hcIH-5nVug
https://youtu.be/H6Y4HmSDTXs

 

Musicians of Juarez

Dead Beats: The Graveside Musicians of Juárez

Musicians forced out of the cantinas Ciudad Juárez by violence have been eking out  a living in the graveyards of the town  . . .

Domingo Pineda tries to tune his instrument, but the old guitar has trouble keeping a note in the chilly winter of northern Mexico’s desert. Meanwhile, Mario Muñoz rubs his hands to rid his fingers of the cold. The men begin to play an upbeat melody with gloomy lyrics: “A wooden cross of the most simple kind/ Is all I ask for when I die.”

Read on at Vocativ.com.

Dia de los Muertos

Old Town San Diego’s Dia de los Muertos

Celebrating the Day of the Dead in Old Town, San Diego, Nov. 1 and 2 . . .

Annually on November 1 and 2, Save Our Heritage Organization produces the community wide celebration in Old Town, San Diego. It is a destination event that showcases the traditions and cultural activities of this holiday that is celebrated around the world.

Read the full story here.

 

Mariachi

Engaging Your City’s Youth Through the Arts

Here’s a report on an extraordinarily valuable program that supporters of traditional music–or any music–might want to be aware of. Three cheers for the City of San Fernando, with a shout out for the CAC!

The City of San Fernando invests directly in an award-winning Mariachi Master Apprentice Program. Launched in 2001 as an experiment, the program has garnered international recognition. . . . Over the past decade 100 percent of the students enrolled in the program have graduated. Typically comparable rates are less than 60 percent.

Read the full article at WesternCity.com.

Fandango

Fandango! Traditional Mexican Son Jarocho, June 14, 2014

Music & Dance Get Together

Saturday, June 14, 2014 • 6:00 P.M.

Balboa Park Fountain near Park Blvd.

Free Admission

Bring your instruments and food to share! Financial support provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

Fandango Flyer

Events

San Jarocho

More Fandango! Traditional Mexican Son Jarocho

Music & Dance Get Together

Hosted by Professor Eduardo Garcia

Fandangos are at the heart of son jarocho. They’re kind of like jam sessions, where musicians gather to play, sing and dance around a wooden platform called a tarima.

Free Admission.

Bring your instruments and food to share! Financial support provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

Fandango Flyer

San Jarocho

More Fandango! Traditional Mexican Son Jarocho

Music & Dance Get Together

Hosted by Professor Eduardo Garcia

Fandangos are at the heart of son jarocho. They’re kind of like jam sessions, where musicians gather to play, sing and dance around a wooden platform called a tarima.

Free Admission.

Bring your instruments and food to share! Financial support provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

Fandango Flyer

Fandango Son Jarocho

Fandango! Traditional Mexican Son Jarocho

Music & Dance Get Together

Hosted by Professor Eduardo Garcia

Fandangos are at the heart of son jarocho. They’re kind of like jam sessions, where musicians gather to play, sing and dance around a wooden platform called a tarima.

Free Admission, please RSVP (619) 363-3007.

Bring your instruments and food to share! Financial support provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

Fandango Flyer

2016 CWM Summer Series: Strings of Southeast Mexico

The 2016 Center for World Music Summer Series at Seaport Village, East Plaza Gazebo

Son de San Diego: Strings of Southeast Mexico

Featuring: Eduardo Garcìa, Cris Juárez, and Germa Lita

Come listen to the strumming guitars of sunny Southeast Mexico and lighten up your dance step at this informal concert of traditional “son jarocho” music from Veracruz. With its infectious rhythms and good-natured song lyrics, this indigenous dance music blends the best of different musical styles in Mexico: Spanish, African, and native Indian.

Admission: Free

Directions: Park in the East Plaza parking lot accessible from Kettner Blvd. Headquarters and Seaport Map

Flyer: Download the 2016 CWM Summer Concert Series flyer.

Financial support provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

SD Commission for Arts and Culture

The Regional Music of Mexico

The Regional Music of Mexico

Featuring Hermanos Herrera
March 21, 2020, 7:00 pm, La Jolla Community Center

In an abundance of caution, this concert has been postponed due to the growing concern caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). We are thankful for the flexibility and understanding of the musicians, sponsors, and community in this quickly evolving situation. The price of the tickets will be refunded.This Event has been postponed.Hermanos Herrera is a family group consisting of five brothers and their younger sister. They play various styles of traditional Mexican music including son huasteco, son jarocho, and musica norteña. The groups performs with an energetic style that is both passionate and exhilarating.

 

United by blood and love of their art, Hermanos Herrera see themselves as creating the future of regional Mexican music. Third-generation Mexican-Americans, they grew up in a family of musicians in Filmore, California. Motivated by their family’s devotion to traditional music, the siblings made frequent trips to Mexico, immersing themselves in a quarter century of mentorship with preeminent performers of son huasteco and son jarocho, two favorite forms of Mexico’s rich musical heritage. They bring youthful exuberance, authenticity, and a contemporary twist to their presentation of traditional musical styles, while striving at the same time to be true representatives of Mexico’s rich musical landscape.

Hermanos Herrera Album Cover

Hermanos Herrera have six recordings under the Sonbros Records label, and one album released by Smithsonian Folkways record label in January, 2018. Their latest releases are scheduled to launch in the Spring and Fall of 2020. Their most recent recordings of musica norteña and son huasteco received strong radio play throughout the U.S. and Mexico, with one of the singles reaching number one in various markets. For being ambassadors of son huateco, the group was awarded the “Sol Poniente” Lifetime Achievement Award in Veracruz, Mexico.

Hermanos Herrera have shared their music with a wide audience, performing throughout the U.S. and Mexico. They recently toured under the Smithsonian Folkways Record label throughout the United States, performing at National Folk Festivals in North Carolina, and Butte Montana. In addition, they recently sold out two consecutive performances at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

In addition to their musical accomplishments, Hermanos Herrera have maintained an active presence in their home community of Filmore. Through their music, they have raised over $120,000 for local charities and have assisted in numerous fundraising and community service events, educating children and assisting those in need. 

For more info visit: http://www.hermanosherrera.com/

Watch Smithsonian videos: Hermanos Herrera on Family and Music | “Anoche Estuve Ilorando” by Hermanos Herrera

Tickets
We encourage everyone to purchase tickets in advance. 
If available, a limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the door. Cash or check accepted.

Program
6:30pm – Doors open. Light refreshments served. Wine and beer available for purchase.
7:00pm – Performance begins.

Directions & Parking
For detailed directions to La Jolla Community Center via car or by MTS bus, please visit their location webpage. Street parking is available on Bonair. If you prefer, valet service will be offered on the curb in front of the Community Center.

Click this link to view the Passport to Worlds of Music Concert Series Booklet.

Concert Series Sponsor

Rice and Haeling Development Group Logo

Hermanos Herrara Concert Sponsor

Kat Heldman Logo

 

Virtual Encounters: The Regional Music of Mexico Featuring Hermanos Herrera

This presentation is the second of six programs in the Center for World Music’s Spring 2021 Virtual Encounters with World Music and Dance series.

The Regional Music of Mexico

Featuring Hermanos Herrera with Ethnomusicologist Tim Rice
January 31, 2:00 pm
Free Live Stream – View the Recorded Stream

This 50-minute live-hosted music and discussion event will explore the human experience as expressed through three styles of Mexican regional music. Hermanos Herrera, along with Dr. Rice, will explore the lived meanings of son jarochoson huasteco, and accordion-based norteño music, from northern Mexico. They will discuss each genre’s history as well as the stylistic differences among them. They will also tell the story of how they came to dedicate themselves to performing these particular styles. After each prerecorded performance segment, the group, with instruments in hand, will answer any questions you may have about a particular instrument, music style, and the personal and social significance of their music. Bring your dancing shoes and your questions for what promises to be a fun-filled and music-filled presentation!

Registration is free. A link to the live stream will be provided in your confirmation email. If you’d like to support the artists and the program, donations will be welcomed.

Hermanos Herrera will be addressing questions from the audience. Guests are invited to log into YouTube to comment and ask questions of the artist.

About Hermanos Herrera

Hermanos Herrera consists of five brothers and their younger sister. They play various styles of traditional Mexican music, including son huasteco, son jarocho, and musica norteña. The group performs with an aggressive and energetic style that is both passionate and exhilarating.

United by blood and love of their art, Hermanos Herrera see themselves as creating the future of regional Mexican music. Third-generation Mexican-Americans, they grew up in a family of musicians in Filmore, California. Motivated by their family’s devotion to traditional music, the siblings made frequent trips to Mexico, immersing themselves in a quarter-century of mentorship with preeminent performers of son huasteco and son jarocho, two favorite forms of Mexico’s rich musical heritage. They bring youthful energy, authenticity, and a contemporary twist to their presentation of traditional musical styles while striving to be dedicated representatives of Mexico’s rich musical landscape.

Hermanos Herrera has six recordings under the Sonbros Records label and one album released by Smithsonian Folkways. They launched their latest releases in the Spring and Fall of 2020. Their most recent musica norteña and son huasteco recordings received substantial radio play in both the U.S. and Mexico, with one of the singles reaching number one in various markets. For being ambassadors of son huateco, the group was awarded the “Sol Poniente” Lifetime Achievement Award in Veracruz, Mexico.

Hermanos Herrera has shared their music with a broad audience, performing throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Under the Smithsonian Folkways Record label, they performed at National Folk Festivals in North Carolina and Butte Montana. Recently, two consecutive performances by the group at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles were sold out.

In addition to their musical accomplishments, Hermanos Herrera has maintained an active presence in their home community of Filmore. Their music has raised over $120,000 for local charities and has assisted in numerous fundraising and community service events, educating children and helping those in need. 

For more info, visit: http://www.hermanosherrera.com/

Watch Smithsonian videos: Hermanos Herrera on Family and Music | “Anoche Estuve Ilorando” by Hermanos Herrera

Download the Music and Discussion Flyer and Program.

Concert Series Sponsor

Rice and Haeling Development Group Logo

Concert SponsorKat Heldman Logo

Grant Support

[smls id=”14436″]