About this project
In April, Cambalache will go into the studio and record our first full-length album, titled Una historia del fandango (A History of the Fandango). The project is a collaboration with our family of LA and Veracruz based musicians, and produced by Grammy award winning producer, Quetzal Flores. With this recording we would like to not only garner work in festivals and other world music spaces, but also create a document, tell a story... our story, through our experience with el Son Jarocho in the United States. With this CD we are actively taking ownership of what we have worked to create with our families and Los Angeles musical community. This moment in time, this relationship, this cultural exchange, will become a snapshot of sorts, a sonic and literary portrait that we will document with our music: together with our peers and families both in Los Angeles and Veracruz.
Cambalache is the direct result of Los Angeles musicians, community workers and artists creating a space, cultivating relationships with Jarocho musicians and community workers in Veracruz, Mexico. Our primary concept of organizing and exchange comes from “el fandango” model which is: building community through participatory music. In January of 2003, LA’s music group, Quetzal along with a dozen other musicians, visual artists, writers and community workers from LA visited Xalapa Veracruz to help organize and form part of the first encuentro Chicana/o/Jarocha/o. This dialogue, from which a myriad of projects, recordings, writings, performances and relationships have evolved, extended that concept of el fandango to a transnational network of artists, community workers in Veracruz and the Chicano and Mexican immigrant communities in Los Angeles.
The music of Cambalache was featured on August 7, 2011 on NPR’s All Things Considered stating, “Son Jarocho has been popular in Los Angeles, going back to the 1950s with Ritchie Valens, then Los Lobos. Today, it’s a part of the regular soundtrack of Latino music in East L.A.”
Son Jarocho is a genre of music originated in Veracruz, Mexico. It is a blend of indigenous Mexican, African-Arabic sounds and rhythms. Traditional son jarocho instrumentation includes: jaranas (guitars that are strummed and more percussive), plucked guitars called guitarra de son or requinto, león or leonas (a big and bassy guitar), harp, violin, marimbol, quijada (donkey or horse jaw), pandero (octagonal tambourine) and tarima (wooden platform that is danced on). El Fandango, an all night celebration centered around a tarima or wooden platform that dancers stomp on or zapatean creating different rhythms and patterns while other musicians play jaranas, requintos and leonas (all traditional son jarocho instruments) and sing verses, some widely known and others improvised especially for the moment. The fandango encourages the participation of everyone on some level. All ages, levels of musical abilities and genders are involved in creating music, poetry, dance and la convivencia, or the gathering and engagement of community. It is a microcosm of life in its most engaging, inclusive and accepting sense.
Who are the members of Cambalache?
Cesar Castro lead vocals, requinto jarocho, jarana, quijada
Xochi Flores vocals, jarana tercera, zapateado
Chuy Sandoval vocals, jarana segunda, jarana tercera, pandeiro
Juan Perez bass
Risks and challenges
Since the only factor missing in this scenario is funding, there is really nothing that will prevent us from seeing it to fruition. Barring any catastrophic, life altering events, once funded, this recording will see life. We have secured space and time in a local studio, with our producer and have contacted all collaborating artists, letting them know that the project is underway.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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