Jarochelo Cesar Castro, a master of the Son Jarocho music genre.
lead vocals, requinto jarocho, jarana, quijada
Cambalache was founded in 2009 and led by Cesar Castro (Master Luthier Sonero and Jarocho from Veracruz, Mexico). Castro began studying Son Jarocho at the age of 11 with renowned harpist, Andres Alfonso Vergara. He continued his studies with Gilberto Gutierrez of El Grupo Mono Blanco, and at age, 16, he joined the group formally. With Mono Blanco, Cesar not only traveled through Mexico, the United Status and Europe, he began teaching this cultural tradition in community centers, schools and universities in Mexico City and Veracruz. From Gilberto Gutierrez he also learned laudería, how to make instruments used in the son jarocho tradition. In 2001, Cesar began working with Chicanos in Los Angeles through a binational Exchange, Fandango Sin Fronteras that forged relationships cultivated through music, focused on building community and awareness through social gatherings, el fandango and participatory performance. In 2003 he moved to LA to teach Son Jarocho and during this time he also formed Quetzal, one of LA’s cornerstone, Chicano bands.
vocals, jarana tercera, zapateado
Born into a family of community organizers and community activists, Xochi learned early to use her voice, her words and her community work to lift the voices of others. She attributes her creativity and musicality to being a listener, a supporter and a lover of family and community stories and best of all, were those told to her by her maternal grandmother, Juanita Valdez. Exposure to stories of struggle, loss, triumph, resistance, love and the human spirit, are what inspired Xochi to write and play music. Xochi Flores began learning and performing son jarocho with Quetzal Flores and Russell Rodríguez in 2003. She formed part of the first Encuentro of Chicano/as/ and Jarochos in Xalapa, Veracruz. Since then, Xochi has been instrumental in the Exchange by bringing artists and community workers from Veracruz to the US and performing with groups such as Candela (all female son jarocho group from LA) Las No que No (all female son jarocho in Highland Park). She is key collaborator with Quetzal, Ozomatli, Son del Centro, Son de Madera and most recently with Laura Rebolloso. She is also a very proud mother to three beautiful, super smart and determined young women.
vocals, jarana segunda, jarana tercera, pandeiro
Born and raised in East LA, Chuy Sandoval’s early musical background was formed in playing punk rock. He has been an active church musician in the greater Los Angeles area for over ten years and has had the opportunity to work with several OCP (Oregon Catholic Press) artists and composers. Chuy holds a Bachelor of Music in classical guitar performance from CSULA. Chuy was introduced to the traditional form or son jarocho in 2007 and has been an active and serious student of the genre ever since.
Juan Perez, on the upright bass, has performed and recorded with one of the most renowned jarocho bands from Veracruz “Son de Madera” for seven years, and has played with Quetzal for 10 years. Juan is widely recognized as the “go to” chicano bass player for all chicano- jarocho recordings, performances and for his overall knowledge of the genre.
A Powerful Gathering of Guest Artists
Born in East L.A., songwriter-musician Louie Perez is a founding member of Los Lobos, the venerable East L.A. multiple Grammy Award-winning band. Pérez started with Los Lobos playing primarily the jarana (small Mexican guitar) and singing. Pérez, as the group’s primary lyricist, is a keen observer of the human condition and his work has been showcased on every Los Lobos recording. “…no word describes America like immigrant. Most of us are children of immigrants, so it’s perhaps natural that the songs we create celebrate America in this way.” Says Louie Perez, the “poet laureate” and primary wordsmith of Los Lobos” (Color Magazine). More
Guiterrez is the musical director of el Grupo Mono Blanco, the cornerstone group of the movimiento jaranero (celebrating 40 years) and very much responsible for the fandango movement in Veracruz as well as in the US. Gutierrez is singer-poet and master of the stringed jarana and is from a family of musicians in Veracruz, the home of son jarocho. More
Alfredo “El Godo” Herrera
Alfredo “El Godo” Herrera
Alfredo began his journey in son jarocho at a very young age via the local fiestas and fandangos in his hometown of Veracruz. In 1989, he joined Mono Blanco’s workshops in son jarocho and in 1990 founded his group, Son La Plaga. By age 13, this prodigy received his teaching credential in ‘zapateado and jarana’ (dance and music) from the IVEC, Instituto Veracruzano de Cultura. More
Growing up in grassroots movements, as the son of labor union organizers, Flores inherited an undying accountability to community struggles. From land struggles with South Central farmers, immigration reform, supermarket workers union strike, and the indigenous Zapatista struggle, to the everyday struggles in East Los Angeles, he has been active with music in hand. Since 1993, he has been working as the musical director for the East LA based rock group Quetzal. More
Rocio Marron is a classically trained improvisational violinist, viola player, string arranger and songwriter who has dedicated countless hours to teaching her nieces music. She is also a mother, music teacher and lifelong vegetarian. Rocio began her son jarocho trajectory in 2003 while recording on Son de Madera’s Orquestas del Dia. She led the all female son jarocho ensemble, Candela, with her cousin, Xochi and a group of LA based mujeres. Rocio continues to participate in collaborative projects with other artists based in LA and is a regular in the string section on The Voice More
Maya Jupiter’s artivism began in her early twenties when she facilitated hip-hop songwriting workshops with at-risk youth in her hometown of Sydney, Australia. Now raising a family in Los Angeles, Maya released an album produced by Martha Gonzalez and Quetzal Flores. She is on the advisory board at Peace Over Violence and has been a spokesperson for their Denim Day Campaign. In 2014 she was recognized with their Voice Over Violence Humanitarian Award. Maya co-founded Artivist Entertainment to support artists who create positive social change. More
Alexandro is performer of Mexican traditional music and in artcore post-punk band ¡Aparato! He is the producer of Afro-Mexican folk music group Las Cafeteras and their album It’s Time, has collaborated with quintessential Chicano rock band Los Lobos, and is a featured musician on an upcoming Smithsonian Folkways release of children’s music. Hernández is a two-time Smithsonian Institution Fellow and is published in the anthology Sounds of Resistance: The Role of Music in Multicultural Activism, The Journal of Pan-African Studies, and Smithsonian Folkways.