CHICAGO – July 22, 2014 – Chicago’s Mexican folk music ensemble, Sones de Mexico, founded in 1994, will celebrate 20 years of being one of the country's leading Mexican folk music organizations with a free concert at Chicago's Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion on Wednesday, September 3 at 7pm. The twice GRAMMY nominated ensemble will be joined by many past and current collaborators drawn from Chicago’s diverse community of musicians and dancers.
The concert is presented by the National Museum of Mexican Art as part of their 2014 Sor Juana Festival.
“It’s almost unbelievable that we’ve been playing and teaching this music for 20 years,” says co-founder and Executive Director Juan Dies. “From the very beginning Sones de Mexico has worked cross-culturally to collaborate with many different facets of Chicago’s incredibly rich music scene, and I’m grateful that so many of them are joining us to celebrate our anniversary.”
The current Sones de Mexico members include founders Juan Dies and Gonzalo Cordova plus Lorena Iniguez, Juan Rivera, Zacbe Pichardo and Jorge Leal. All are multi-instrumentalists on a wide range of Mexican folk instruments. Founding member and Musical Director Victor Pichardo, who is on sabbatical in Mexico, is writing the arrangements for the concert and will return to Chicago to perform in it. All past members of the group are also expected to perform during the evening, including founding members Rene Cardoza and Raul Fernandez.
Sones de Mexico has invited many of their past and current collaborators to participate in the concert as guest musicians and dancers. The final list of invitees is still in progress, but artists representing Chicago’s Irish, blues, jazz and classical music communities are expected as well as Mexican dance companies. Sones is encouraging fans to follow their Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest updates.
In addition to celebrating the past 20 years, the concert marks the beginning of a new phase for Sones de Mexico, which will include new projects with some of the evening’s guests and the founding of a music school dedicated to Mexican music and dance.
For more information about this concert the public can visit www.sonesdemexico.com and go to the event micro-site. The site features music and video, a band history and timeline, a photo gallery, social media updates and more. In addition, the group is curating and producing a commemorative limited edition “Greatest Hits” CD that will be available for the very first time at the concert. Its selections will draw from all 6 of their albums, some of which are currently unavailable in CD form.
In addition to the National Museum of Mexican Art, Sones de Mexico would like to thank the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Univision Chicago, WBEZ 91.5FM, Chicago Public Radio, Vocalo, Arte y Vida Chicago, Goya Foods, Southwest Airlines, the Mexican Tourism Bureau, and many others for their support.
ABOUT SONES DE MEXICO: The group is Chicago’s premier folk music ensemble specializing in Mexican ‘son,’ a genre encompassing the roots of mariachi music and other regional styles, including huapango, gustos, chilenas, son jarocho, and more. The ensemble was formed in 1994 to keep the tradition of Mexican ‘son’ alive in its many regional forms. As a performer and recording artist, they have developed and popularized many original arrangements of Mexican traditional tunes. Its original work has experimented cross-culturally with symphonic, Irish, folk, C&W, jazz, and rock music, though never abandoning its roots in Mexican son.
The group has released six CDs: Que Florezca! (Let it Bloom) (1996); Fandango on 18th Street (2002); the GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY nominated Esta Tierra Es Tuya (This Land is Your Land) (2007); Fiesta Mexicana (a children’s album) (2010); Viva la Revolucion! (2010); and 13 B’ak’tun (2013).
The organization is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a commitment to teaching. The mission of Sones de Mexico Ensemble is to promote greater appreciation of Mexican folk and traditional music and culture through innovative performance, education, and dissemination.
# # #