(69:00, 63.1 MB; CD06-090 & CD06-091)
Recorded on May 27, 2006 by the Florida Folklife Program at the 2006 Florida Folk Festival in White Springs, Florida.
Welcome back to the Florida Folklife Collection Podcast Series from the State Library and Archives of Florida. In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, we would like to spotlight a Mexican musical tradition that occurs throughout the state nearly every weekend of the year, yet escapes the notice of most Floridians. In Latin grocery stores and Mexican restaurants, at flea markets, produce stands, and laundromats, at day labor centers and public parks, small colorful fliers pepper bulletin boards promoting weekend entertainment featuring Mexican Norteño bands, traditional foods, music, dancing, and a sense of community for migrant workers and naturalized citizens far from their homes and families.
Norteño, sometimes also called Norteña or Conjunto, literally translates to the word “northern,” referring to the region of northern Mexico and present day southern Texas where the musical style originated. While the genre had its beginnings in rural areas and still exhibits agrarian lyrical imagery, its popularity has spread with migration to urban centers where some AM stations focus solely on music targeted to the Hispanic community.Transcript of the introduction: Norteño is specifically intended for dancing, primarily driven by the accordion, bajo sexto, drums, and occasionally a single saxophone, and differs greatly from the brass heavy ensembles of Mariachi. Norteño was born from a combination of German, Czech, and Mexican instrumentation and rhythms, and is typically performed through polkas, corridos, rancheras, and cumbias.
This podcast features Conjunto Aventura, a Norteño ensemble from south Florida, performing at the 2006 Florida Folk Festival. Their exuberant performance well demonstrates exactly why this music remains a popular genre among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Enjoy.