Radio Jarocho is leading the way in preserving and expanding son jarocho, a style of music that has its roots in Southern Veracruz, Mexico. Son Jarocho is a Mexican folk genre that has existed for more than two centuries. It features a mix of Afro-Caribbean, Spanish, and Mexican Indigenous dance and music. Radio Jarocho has been inspired by son jarocho music and the fandango dance that accompanies it for years. For their new album, Café Café, out on May 12th, Radio Jarocho decided to make the first son jarocho record that contains no traditional songs. Gabriel Guzmán and the band envisioned a record that would be written, produced and performed by the group.
“It took us some time to develop our skills as songwriters but we definitely knew we could do it. We would start by taking a line or a verse of a traditional song and make it the subject of a new one. Then we created a particular song structure and added bolder chord changes that sounded more appropriate for an urban band like us. Finally, we polished the melody, the lyrics, and then we had our own song.” – Gabriel Guzmán
Radio Jarocho hired Grammy Award-winning engineer Alex Venguer to co-produce Café Café. They cut the album live in the studio to minimize interference from editing and overdubs. After they recorded, they mixed Café Café to give it the full sound of a rock album. Radio Jarocho play from the heart and combine their knowledge of son jarocho with powerful voices and skilled instrumentation. The group consists of Gabriel Guzmán (jarana, vocals), Julia del Palacio (bailadora, vocals), Juan Carlos Marín (requinto, vocals), Emmanuel Huitzil (marimbol), and Carlos Cuestas (leona, vocals). Celebrate the release of Café Café with Radio Jarocho at their CD release party at Casa Mezcal on May 12th. They have prepared a show with special guests including Pan-African percussionists, Akoko Nante; Irish-Mariachi songwriter Rana Santacruz, and guitarist Greg Glassman from the David Wax Museum. Find their music on bandcamp and grab the CD at your local record store or at their shows.