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Multi-GRAMMY Award nominated Sones de Mexico Ensemble at Indiana State Fair

Sones de Mexico Ensemble 2014 - Left to Right: Jorge Leal, Juan Rivera, Lorena Iñiguez, Juan Díes, Zacbe Pichardo, Gonzalo Cordova
Sones de Mexico Ensemble 2014 - Left to Right: Jorge Leal, Juan Rivera, Lorena Iñiguez, Juan Díes, Zacbe Pichardo, Gonzalo CordovaPhoto credit: Nora Iñiguez

Latin GRAMMY and GRAMMY Award nominated Sones de México Ensemble, one of the world's preeminent folk music artists specializing in Mexican ‘son,’ will bring their highly entertaining, educational and festive live show to the Hispanic/Latino Music Festival presented by Honda on The Free Stage at Indiana State Fair, 1202 East 38th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46205, on Sunday, August 3rd, 2014, at 5:00pm. (read a previous Sones de México Ensemble concert review here).

Sones de Mexico Ensemble
Sones de Mexico EnsembleSones de Mexico Ensemble (Courtesy of Juan Dies)

Sones de México Ensemble was formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1994 to keep the tradition of Mexican ‘son’ alive. Mexican 'son' is a genre encompassing the roots of mariachi music and other regional styles, including huapango, gustos, chilenas, son jarocho, and more. Celebrating 20 years as performers and recording artists, the Ensemble has developed and popularized many original arrangements of Mexican traditional tunes through touring the United States and internationally, including performing at such prestigious venues as the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC and at the World Folksong Festival in Beijing China following the 2008 Olympic Games.

"Indianapolis holds a special place in my heart," says co-founder and Executive Director Juan Díes. "It is always good to come home to perform. When my family and I immigrated to the U.S. in 1982, we arrived in Indianapolis. My parents still live in town."

"I graduated from North Central High School in 1984. It was at North Central that I first learned to write music. I also made some great musician friends who taught me a lot about music. Some of them still live and work in Indy: Jeff Hedback, Keith Skoogland, Mike Graves, Mike Mitchell, Neil Morrison, Jay Stein, and my brother Gonzalo "Gonzo" Dies, among others."

Sones de México Ensemble has released six albums, including the GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY Award nominated Esta Tierra Es Tuya (This Land is Your Land). Each Sones de México Ensemble album has told a story. Their debut ¡Que Florezca! (1996) celebrated their rebirth in Chicago. Fandango on 18th Street (2002) was a dance party set in Pilsen, the artistic hub of Chicago's Mexican community. Esta Tierra Es Tuya (This Land is Your Land) (2007) earned both a GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY Award nomination and served as an immigrant manifesto as exemplified by the title song, a norteño arrangement of the great Woody Guthrie song that celebrates all of America's people. The album also marked a new confidence in the band's musicianship and ambitions by including original arrangements of music from other genres, including Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 (view Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 video on YouTube here) and Led Zeppelin's Four Sticks (view Four Sticks video on YouTube here). Fiesta Mexicana (2010) was a double-CD dual-language album for children of all ages and received a Parents' Choice Silver Award for its outstanding value, followed by ¡Viva La Revolution! (2010) which celebrated the centennial of the Mexican Revolution. Their most recent release, 13 B'ak'tun (2013) marked the turning of the Mayan calendar in 2012, which was most definitely not the end of the world.

In addition to researching and performing traditional Mexican 'son', the group has developed a body of original work that has experimented cross-culturally with classical, Irish, blues, C&W, jazz, and rock music through collaborations with artists across many genres, including Guillermo Velazquez y Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú, Alejandro Flores of the Mexican rock band Café Tacvba, and trumpet player Doc Severinsen to name a few. The Ensemble also recorded two songs for YoYo Ma’s Silk Road Project: “Crossroads,” featuring Chinese-Mexican collaboration with the Yellow River Performing Arts Ensemble and had its track Xochipitzahuatl on the feature film El Mariachi Gringo soundtrack.

Sones de México Ensembles performance lineup for the Indiana State Fair Hispanic/Latino Music Festival concert will include Juan Dies - bass and vocals (founding member); Gonzalo Cordova - guitar and vocals (founding member); Zacbe Pichardo - harp and marimba; Lorena Iñiguez - vihuela, jarana guitars, and dancing; Jorge Leal - drums and percussion; and special guest Felipe Valle - violin and vocals. (Please note: Sones de México Ensembles regular violinist Juan Rivera will be teaching huasteco style violin at the Swannanoa Fiddle Week Gathering at Williams College in North Carolina and will be not be present at this Indiana State Fair performance).

Special guest violinist and vocalist Felipe Ignacio Valle Robles is the founder and music director of the group Trio Aire Huasteco in Mexico. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Música and currently teaches huasteco style Mexican violin at the Ollin Yoliztli music academy in Mexico City. His CD Alter Tenek was released January 1st, 2010. The video for Alter Tenek can be viewed on YouTube here.

Sones de México Ensemble is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a commitment to teaching. The mission of Sones de México Ensemble is to promote greater appreciation of Mexican folk and traditional music and culture through innovative performance, education, and dissemination.

Sones de México Ensemble on Facebook; Sones de México Ensemble on Twitter; Sones de México Ensemble on YouTube

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014
Honda presents

SONES DE MÉXICO ENSEMBLE
on The Free Stage at Indiana State Fair

Hispanic/Latino Music Festival presented by Honda
Indiana State Fair
1202 East 38th Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46205

Show: 5:00pm

Tickets: Indiana State Fair