Round Whirled Records


Mexican Son Jarocho music

Son Jarocho is a folkloric music developed from the southern Mexican states of Veracruz and Tamaulipas.  This Afro-Mestizo hybrid blends Spanish, indigenous (primarily Huastecan), and African elements into a joyous celebration of Mexican identity.  Son Jarocho is often played only on jaranas (small stringed instruments) and sung in a call and response style in which several singers exchange improvised verses called décimas.  The jarana can be accompanied by the requinto (another small stringed instrument), the quijada (mule’s jawbone), arpa (harp), el pandero (tambourine), and el cajon (percussive box).  Another important element in Son Jarocho is the zapateado, a poly-rhythmic dance style performed a wooden platform called a tarima.  Son Jarocho is traditionally performed in the community setting of a fandango (community jam session).

Round Whirled Record’s annual Son Jarocho Festival has become a cornerstone of the emerging Son Jarocho scene in the San Francisco Bay Area, attracting top practitioners of this genre and providing workshops for local musicians to interact with the masters of the field.  The festival features Grammy-winning musicians as well as emerging groups, and attracts older community members who grew up with Jarocho music, music scholars, and the younger generation of Mexico’s diaspora. 

In 2015, a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program will support Round Whirled Record’s annual Son Jarocho Festival.

The following video features excerpts from Round Whirled's 2013 Son Jarocho Festival:

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