Moments from la vida cotidiana en Zapopan. El Jardin Zoologico, the zoo, is only blocks away de mi cuarto. Almost every morning the lions wake me up with their rugidos. But when I walk there, it’s too hot and they are all sleeping. The only one who really looks awake and who of course I am drawn to, el animal plastico in the middle of the real ones, is –
Then my feet lead me downtown, al centro Zapopan, and I hear voices singing, an old traditional song, un corrido Mariachi tradicional, La Negra –
“Cuando me traes a mi negra –
Que la quiero ver aquí –
Con su rebozo de seda –
Que le traje de Tepíc!
My dark haired girl – I wish I could see her here – in her silk shawl – that I brought her from Tepíc!
And then I see them, Mariachis sindicales trabajadores – Mariachis who are union members, out on the streets, a day of solidarity for their sindicado –
– and I find myself smiling – my feet tapping out the rhythm, singing along, huarachando…vacilando.
Then another Sunday, another downtown, otro centro de otro pueblo, this one in Tapalpa, en las alturas de Jalisco sur, in the mountainous highlands of southern Jalisco. It is Sunday and a local Banda are in the central plaza combining traditional German polka-derived brass arrangements with rhythmic counterpoint from a whole melting pot of raices y tradiciones musicales – and the result is….pura musica….and pure joy.
In Guadalajara they say, “sin Mariachi….no hay fiesta!” – without Mariachi music….there’s no freaking party. It could be Mariachi or Banda or the polyrhythmic harp-based Son Jarocho from Vera Cruz but when you start thinking about it….and when you hear it….you understand why…
Sin musica, no hay fiesta.