Plan de la Villa: Traditional Mariachi, Volume 1, with Julian Gonzalez (2002)

Plan de la Villa is both a significant document of rarely heard sones abajeños of the traditional mariachi as well as an energetic and attractive recording for all audiences. Los Cenzontles, under the tutelage of Julian Gonzalez, have applied their artistry and scholarship to the relatively unknown roots of mariachi music. Distinct from the orchestral nature of the contemporary mariachi, Plan de la Villa resurrects the improvisatory spirit of the traditional rural mariachi. Its instrumentation is simple: 2 violins, vihuela, guitarron and vocal duet. Some cuts include zapateado the traditional percussive dancing upon a tarima, or wooden platform.

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Los Cenzontles has recorded over 30 albums, and you can purchase them all in our online Tienda.

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Unique in its unvarnished folk style, Los Cenzontles with Julian González should satisfy the most demanding of purists, offering the listener a taste of the mariachi as it sounded in the era before commercialization. In all of these sones, a fresh, zestful and “down-home” enthusiasm prevails, one that we seldom hear in garden-variety commercial mariachis. Cultural purists, rejoice.
Dr. Manuel Peña, Fresno State University