Group preserves tradition

Los Cenzoltes member performs traditional dance on Nov. 1.

Los Cenzoltes member performs traditional dance on Nov. 1.

Scott Hasty

Audience members experienced a new flavor of dance and music on Nov 1.

Los Cenzontles is a group of musicians and dancers who perform a variety of Latin American tones including Mariachi, Sones, and Pirekuas.

The group, made up of five musicians/singers and two dancers/singers, entertained an audience of around 350 people. Members of the Los Cenzontles performance include: Hugo Arroyo, Lucina Rodriguez, Fabiola Trujillo, Tregar Otton, Sage Baggot, Don Gardner and master artist Julian Gonzalez.

The group organized the concert into four parts: the Traditional Mariachi of Jalisco, the Son Jarocho of Veracruz, the Pirekuas and Sones of Michoacan and the Conjunto.

Each of the four parts varied in the way they were performed for the audience.

The group described its goal in wanting to preserve the old mariachi. The group said it prides itself in fighting to keep the traditional “country” mariachi alive through performing it for younger generations to hear and possibly learn.

For some like Robert Terry, senior music major, the mariachi was entertaining and exciting.

“The mariachi exposes the community to real Mexican music,” Terry said. “Which is kind of rare in Joplin. I was really looking forward to next songs they would play. I was also asked to let the group borrow my bass. I was pretty curious to see what they would do with it” Terry said.

“They’re a really talented group. I was kind of hoping that I could ask the bass player to give me a few pointers after the concert as a kind of a way for them to pay me back for borrowing my bass” Terry said.

On top of the dancing and musical abilities of the group, a documentary was played based upon the history of Mariachi.

The documentary included insights from Mexican ranchers, the true founders of the classic Mariachi music.

Descriptions from these ranchers included Mariachi’s origins, when Mariachi would be played and the possible future of Mariachi.

“When I came to the concert,” said Wendy Gomez, CSI finance department, “I was expecting more modern music. It was a nice surprise when I started hearing some of the older, more traditional Mariachi being played. Los Cenzontles plays the kind of music you don’t really hear on the radio anymore.”

The audience members were further educated about Mexican instruments through the variety of instruments which Los Cenzontles used throughout the concert.

“I thought the big bass they used was pretty cool,” Terry said. “The horse jaw bone they used was also cool. It sounds like a real instrument. You would never realize it was anything if they hadn’t said anything.”

The audience reacted positively to the groups’ performance. Some even saw it as educational.

“I thought it was great,” Gomez said. “I think there should be more events like this in the area so more people can go and experience something different. Whether it’s Spanish music or Mexican music, I think its great to have groups like Los Cenzontles to show the many different cultures and views of the world.”