Lively ‘son jarocho’ rhythms to bring festival guests to their feet

Posted on Sep 22, 2015
Cambalache is set to play at the Dia de Los Muertos PHX Festival in October.

Cambalache is set to play at the Dia de Los Muertos PHX Festival in October.

The Cultural Coalition is excited to announce that Cambalache, the fiery group of son jarocho musicians from Los Angeles, will entertain visitors to the FREE Dia de Los Muertos PHX Festival on October 25, 1 to 6 p.m. at Steele Indian School Park, Central Avenue and Indian School Road. The group appears as a result of a partnership between Cultural Coalition and the Son Jarocho Collective of Arizona.

You may think you don’t know son jarocho, but you probably have danced to its stirring rhythms in rock ‘n’ roll songs such as La Bamba, by Los Lobos or in tunes by such groups as Ozomatli and Cafe Tacuba. We hope you will attend the festival to see Cambalache and other local entertainment as an introduction to indigenous sounds.

Son jarocho was born in the Mexican states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz, especially the port of Veracruz, which sits on the Gulf Coast side of the country. Here three cultures converged more than 500 years ago: indigenous people (Huasteca), European Spanish and Africa slaves. Musicologists point to the Spaniards’ introduction of stringed instruments to the region’s natives, who then made them their own. while learning to make and play these small instruments, performers also wrote witty, satirical lyrics that set apart this genre from the more romantic sounds of mariachi music.

As the genre gained popularity, audiences flocked to hear jarocheros play at fandangos, or dances, to move their feet in time to the son jarocho rhythm. Today in Los Angeles, fandangos bring Latinos together to celebrate and preserve this lively traditional music.

Stay tuned for more details on the Dia de Los Muertos PHX Festival, follow us on Twitter (@CulturalCoAz) and Like us on Facebook!