Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Banda is not Spanish for Band!

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Dianne and Greg


  1. Nice post, Greg! I love it!

  2. Good job, I would like to add that in Sinaloa, Banda was originally known as Tambora for a good reason. Tambora is a native instrument and historically played a part in the war rituals.
    Singers are a modern thing because the original Tamboras performed without them. It was don Antonio Aguilar and Banda La Costeña of Ramon López Alvarado, followed by a string of famous mexican singers who made this new style popular. Don Cruz resisted the idea, but the credit goes to his last wife who became the administrator of the Banda and started a new way of paying the musicians. In the old days the money was distributed equally among all the players, not anymore, she started to charge greater amounts and put everyone on a salary, keeping the difference.
    Most banda "connoisseurs" hate or at least do not care for the singing.
    One last thing, la Banda de El Recodo, as was originally known, was created at that town before don Cruz was even born by local musicians trained by European musicians, possibly Austrians, stranded there when Emperor Maximilian was defeated. Some old photographs show they used string instruments, accordeons, etc, and don Cruz himself used to play in a norteño group; the name was changed later to El Recodo by don Cruz. The people of El Recodo do not appreciate the fact that none of the current musicians are from El Recodo or the attempts to change their name and have created sort of a baseball farm instead, the prospects are sent to a group called Los Recoditos and when they mature, they they can perform with the big banda. The town has not benefited from the banda's fame, all they have is a monument dedicated to don Cruz similar to the one in Mazatlan and a small museum dedicated to him.

    Joaquín López, Cronista de Teacapán.

  3. Sr. López, what an honor to have you add your comment here! Thank you for helping us learn more about our adopted home and the style of music here!

    We have only been to Teacapán once, but it is beautiful. I trust you saw the photos on our blog post about your town as well, and no doubt you have comments to add to that one, too. Andamos aprendiendo, gracias a personas como usted!

  4. Joaquin,

    Thank you for your very informative post. I wish you and I had talked before I wrote this!

    I personally find Banda very enjoyable without singers. I realize however that the music industry has changed and people want to sing a long with their music these days. I would imagine that is part of the reason for the change. Much the way Rock and Roll has become too broad of a category, perhaps we need to come up with some terms to differentiate these various types of music.

    Thank you for mentioning Los Recoditos. We have seen them a couple of times and enjoy them as well. They do lack some of the experience of others, but there show is fairly polished and fun.

    If you're ever in town, drop us a note and Dianne and I will meet you for a beer and some Banda.

    Greg Webb

  5. Hi everyone, I also want to congratulate Joaquín, an excellent friend of mine, for sharing his knowledge with us. I'm also a lover of Banda Sinaloense music -without the singers- because that was the "original" music. As a mazatlecan who has lived his entire life here -I'm 63- I thank you for bringing the topic to light. Your point of view is of great concern for all the mazatlecos. Keep posting on this matter.
    Luciano Romero.

  6. Thanks Luciano. I appreciate the positive feedback on our blog. We don't post often, but when we do, we really like to receive comments like yours and Juaquin's.


    Greg Webb


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