Honorio Robledo


Mexican son jarocho

One of the traditional musics of Veracruz, Mexico, is the son jarocho, a blending of African, European, and indigenous musical influences.  The basic instrumentation of the music includes the jarana (a small, eight-string guitar) the requinto (lead guitar) and the harp, with other instruments like pandero (a tambourine-like instrument) also sometimes included.  The percussive rhythms, syncopation, vocal style, and improvisation in its harmonic and rhythmic framework and verse characterize this style of the son jarocho.

Honorio Robledo started playing the jarana as an 11-year-old in Mexico and eventually studied with various masters, including Rutilo Parroquín, in Veracruz.  He both composes sones and makes the jarana.  In 2003, he was a master artist in ACTA's Apprenticeship Program with apprentice Juan Francisco Parroquín, the grandson of Rutilo.  During the course of the apprenticeship, Juan made his own jarana and studied the basic traditional repertoire of both the jarana and the requinto.

Images

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Honorio Robledo (left) and his 2003 apprentice Juan Francisco Parroquín (Photo: ACTA)
Honorio Robledo (right) and his 2003 apprentice Juan Francisco Parroquín working on Juan's jarana (Photo: ACTA)
Honorio Robledo (right) and his 2003 apprentice Juan Francisco Parroquín working on Juan's jarana (Photo: ACTA)
Honorio Robledo at Miller Sheet Gallery in Pomona (Photo courtesy of the artist)
Honorio Robledo working on a jarana, the body of which is carved from a single piece of cedar (Photo: ACTA)
Juan Francisco Parroquín, Honorio Robledo's 2003 apprentice, dancing at the first Festival of Son Jarocho in Los Angeles

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