For my final post, Iʼll leave you with this audio flipbook that sums up my year. In previous posts, I tried to explore the diversity of Mexican music by zooming in on individual sounds and people. I wanted to compare a variety of styles (Mariachi, Son Jarocho, Danzón, Villancicos, La Chilena, Son Huasteco, and Tropical were just a few that I got hooked on), while also considering how this music has been affected by emerging issues in Mexico, like emigration, urbanization, and the cultural gap between generations.
This audio flipbook takes a wider view. I hope it lives up to its name—Itʼs a “grand tour” of the School of Mexican Music, classroom by classroom, genre by genre. For the musician in me, traveling from one “room” of Mexican music to another over the course of this year was an awe-inspiring lesson in new sounds. But more importantly, it gave me a taste of the complexity of Mexican history. And every day, Iʼm happy to report, that history is still being sung and played out by young people who want to live in a 21st century Mexico that doesnʼt forget where it came from.
Sincere thanks to IIE, the State Department, COMEXUS, and mtvU for their continued support during this year. I also want to thank the School of Mexican Music in Mexico City, and the Centro de Documentación del Son Jarocho in Jáltipan, Veracruz for opening their doors to my research (and elementary music skills).
I also want to individually thank my mentors and music teachers, without whose patience and knowledge this project would not have been possible—Jorge Luís Aquino Gómez, José Luís Ceron Mireles, and Pedro Gutiérrez in Mexico City; Ramón Gutiérrez of Son de Madera in Xalapa; Benito Cortés Padua of Los Cojolites at Rancho Luna (….Negra!); my fellow Fulbright grantee Phillip Quercia; Thomas Stanford and the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia; and Randall Kohl of the Universidad Veracruzana. A todos Uds., ¡Mil gracias!
Last but not least, if you like what youʼve heard on my blog, I urge you to check out some of these young Mexican musicians who have, at one point or another, knocked my socks off: