Cesar Castro

Mexican son jarocho

Master artist Cesar Castro (right) and his 2011 apprentice Xochi Flores dancing on the tarima (Photo courtesy of Xochi Flores) He studied with master harpist Andres Alfonso Vergara and later Gilberto Gutierrez of Grupo Mono Blanco, with whom Cesar performed and toured for eleven years.  Cesar has over 20 years of experience as a multi-instrumentalist, singer, dancer, and an accomplished laudero (luthier), who constructs instruments of the son jarocho tradition.

As a current master artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program, Cesar will work with apprentice Luis Sarmiento, training him in the art of lauderia (instrument making), focusing on constructing a jarana.

Cesar participated in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program in 2011 with apprentice Xochi Flores, focusing on increasing Xochi’s skills in zapateado, son jarocho’s dance element, and playing the jarana.

The following video features Cesar Castro (left) and Quetzal Flores playing son jarocho at Occidental College in February 2012.

Gallery

Master son jarocho musician Cesar Castro (left) and his apprentice Xochi Flores, both playing the jaranaPhoto: Robert Loza

Master artist Cesar Castro (right) and his 2011 apprentice Xochi Flores, with jarocho instruments. Photo: Russell C. Rodríguez

The block of wood is shaped into a jarana. Photo: Cesar Castro

Cesar Castro uses a drill press to begin to carve out the sound box of the jarana. Photo: Cesar Castro

Cesar Castro uses a drill press to finish the jarana's sound box. Photo: Cesar Castro

The assembled jarana, with sound board, bridge, nut, and fret board.  Photo: Cesar Castro

Master artist Cesar Castro (right) and his 2011 apprentices Xochi Flores. Photo: Russell C. Rodríguez

Master artist Cesar Castro playing a guitarra de son. Photo: Russell C. Rodríguez

Master artist Cesar Castro playing a guitarra de sonPhoto: Russell C. Rodríguez

Xochi Flores playing the jarana jarochaPhoto: Russell C. Rodríguez

Xochi Flores using an iPhone to tune a jarana. Photo: Russell C. Rodríguez

Dancers on a tarima, a small wooden platform that is danced upon, at a fandangoPhoto: Russell C. Rodríguez

A solid block of cedro wood from which Cesar Castro will create a jarana. Photo: Cesar Castro

The shape of the jarana is drawn onto the wood block. Photo: Cesar Castro

The jarana's sound box.  Photo: Cesar Castro

Cesar assembles the jarana's fretboard.  Photo: Cesar Castro

A family of son jarocho instrucments constructed by Cesar Castro.  Photo courtesy of Cesar Castro.

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