(60:00:15; 68.9 MB; S 2029)
The Mexican American Music Survey was undertaken by the Florida Folklife Program to document the musical traditions of Florida’s various Mexican-American communities: Apopka, South Dade County, Immokalee, the St. Johns River Basin, and Central Florida. Funded by a grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Community Folklife Program, the survey was conducted between 1994 and 1996 by folklorist Robert Stone. Among the musical traditions were serenatas, conjunto, Quinceañara ritual music, ranchera, Michoacana, mariachi, norteno, Tejano, and pop music. At the end of the project, a sampler music tape was created by the Florida Folklife Program for distribution to various libraries.
In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, this installment features the recorded product of the Florida Mexican American Music Survey, a field recording project conducted by the Florida Division of Historical Resources from 1994 to 1996. The project sought to illustrate how music provides Florida’s Mexican population with a living bridge to their cultural history and identity.
The resulting sampler tape, featured in this podcast, offered a wide variety of traditional and popular Mexican music all recorded in Florida. It balanced older and contemporary styles with venerable and unusual traditions such as Mother’s Day Serenatas, regional music, and then contemporary Banda & La Macarena style. It also included recordings of community ritual celebrations such as the Quinceañera, from the Apopka and Homestead area. These field recordings provide the unfamiliar listener with a unique opportunity to appreciate some of the ways which Mexicans Americans entwine their musical traditions with their celebrations and daily life here in Florida thus enriching and expanding the musical environment of our state.