the heartbeat of Mexico
Mexican music surrounds you like a warm blanket, enters through every pore, and makes you feel alive.
South Americans know that if they want to make it big in the music industry they must go to Mexico. That's because Mexicans breathe music. They really listen to it. And they listen to it all the time. Silence may be golden for Westerners, but in Mexico la musica rules.
Let's have a look at some of the richness of Mexican music....
La Bamba & it's Veracruz origins
When a gringo says La Bamba they'll be talking about the song by Richie Valens. But ask any Jarocho (nickname for those who live in Veracruz state) what La Bamba is and you'll get a whole other story.
La Bamba is an entire musical tradition in itself. It's associated with a special dance that originated in Verazcruz and is still a festival favorite there. The style of music comes under son Jarocho. Richie Valens took some of the most-used lyrics from La Bamba to make a rock song, which is what most Westerners will be familiar with.
'Prince of the song' Jose Jose
Are there fans of American Idol or Britain's Got Talent out there? Then you will love the first TV performance by Jose Jose in a music competition. He really blows them away!
Lets take a closer look at this well-loved & admired old crooner. I would say that he's Mexico's version of Frank Sinatra, only he has so much more heart and much less ego than Frank.
Bolero is a personal favorite of mine. The music is played with such feeling and the melodies are so gorgeous.
Bolero music is traditionally played by trios.
Tejano & it's queen, Selena
Tejano music is basically Tex-Mex, in that it's the music of Hispanic Texans . It evolved as a fusion of mariachi music and polka (the polka influence came from German & Czech Texans) featuring guitars and the accordian. Obviously it's Mexican-European rather than traditionally Mexican, but is hugely popular in Mexico as it is with Hispanics in the USA.
'The Queen of Tejano' was Grammy-award-winning Selena (1971-1995). She was born in Texas to Mexican parents. She was hugely successful in both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking countries.
Selena's brother A.B. Quintanilla was her main songwriter. His current band Kumbia Kings are very popular in Mexico these days, getting lots of radio play.
La Seranata (the serenade)
The gift of music is called a seranata, a string of 5 or 6 love songs played by a band of musicians to woo the heart of a woman. These are incredibly common in Mexico, and still follow the traditional etiquette. Discover more about the seranata
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