October 27, 2012 |
The new interpretation of "La Bamba" sung by the dynamic young L.A. band Las Cafeteras isn't your abuelito's version of the classic Mexican folk tune. Nor is it Ritchie Valens' 1958 hit rendition, or Los Lobos' smash 1987 remake. So what's different about Las Cafeteras' "La Bamba Rebelde" (The Rebel La Bamba), which appears on the group's just-issued CD "It's Time"? For starters, there are the punchy, quasi-hip-hop vocal cadences that overlay the traditional instrumental matrix of 10-string jarana and four-string requinto guitars known as son jarocho . Then there are the very L.A., very timely lyrical updates.
August 17, 2012 |
In 1958, San Fernando Valley native Ritchie Valens climbed the U.S. pop charts with a butt-kicking little tune called "La Bamba. " According to the song's Spanish-language lyrics, dancing to it properly required "a little grace" and a little bit of something else. Few teenagers bopping to "La Bamba" probably realized they were jumping around to a rock-a-fied version of son jarocho , a structurally elegant but high-spirited fusion of Afro-Caribbean beats and often wise-cracking wordplay on timely political topics.
August 16, 2011 |
In a way, it all comes down to the ass' jawbone. Students of musical Americana will hear plenty of rustic sounds when David Wax Museum plays Wednesday night at the Wiltern, including shades of folk, blues, rock and bluegrass, along with the Mexican regional varietals of son jarocho , son huasteco and son calentano . Guitars, fiddles, accordions and the Mexican jarana , a baroque eight-string cousin of the guitar, all are part...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 2008 |
Cesar Augusto Castro Gonzalez found his calling when he went looking for a buddy to play some soccer during recess. Castro was attending middle school in the Mexican coastal city of Veracruz and was told he could find his friend, Omar, at a workshop that taught young people how to play traditional music known as el son jarocho. Castro found Omar and was immediately drawn to the sound of an eight-string rhythmic guitar, the jarana. "The happiness of the jarana really just got me," Castro said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 2007 |
Unless you're from Veracruz, Mexico, or a historian of Mexican music, the songs emanating from the Mexican Cultural Center in Santa Ana might be something of a mystery. Although Latin American in flavor, the melodies and rhythms aren't typical folkloric music, mariachi or trios romanticos. The dozen or so musicians are playing son jarocho, a 400-year-old Mexican genre that blends indigenous, Spanish and African styles into foot-stomping, hand-clapping songs often with ad-libbed lyrics.
September 15, 2007 |
Forget everything you thought you knew about "La Bamba." Most Americans are familiar with the Mexican folk standard as popularized here by Ritchie Valens in his '50s rock rendition. It has since been covered by everybody from Los Lobos to "Weird Al" Yankovic, in a parody titled "Lasagna."