‘Masters of Mexican Music’ Perform at LOC

Posted March 31, 2004 at 1:47pm

Interested in learning more about the dominant dance music of Mexican Americans through authentic performers?

Then the “Masters of Mexican Music” at 7:30 p.m. today at the Library of Congress might just be for you.

Several groups will perform pieces representative of four regions of Mexico through four distinct musical forms. These include mariachi from Jalisco, jarocho of southern Vera Cruz, conjunto from the Texas-Mexican border and marimba from the southern state of Chiapas. Some of these performances will also include traditional Mexican dance.

Jarocho, the music from Vera Cruz, is a blend of both African and Spanish musical forms. A call-and-response performance method dominates jarocho music. Syncopation, instrumentals and fixed oral poetry also play a role in this musical form.

Another form of music that will be featured, conjunto developed when European immigrants introduced the accordion into Mexican working-class communities on the Texas-Mexico border. This type of music is the dominant dance music of Mexican Americans today.

Domingo “Mingo” Saldivar is one of the featured performers. He is not only a legend in conjunto music but has also won two Grammy nominations.

Lorenzo Cruz will lead the marimba music, which is both complex and syncopated. The marimba first came to the New World from Africa and was heavily influenced by African xylophones.

The musicians will perform in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building. Although the event is free, tickets are required and seats will not be reserved.

Tickets for this event are available from Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com, for a service charge of $2.75 each with additional charges for phone orders and shipping and handling.

— Lauren Legard