Pocas Palabras (2003)

Pocas Palabras (Few Words) celebrates the innovation and imagination of Mexican music, weaving together centuries-old musical traditions with contemporary sounds of the world stage. Its original and traditional music mixes contemporary and ancient Mexican styles using instruments such as the jarana (strummed 8-string guitar from Veracruz), and quijada (jawbone), percussive zapateado dancing, Afro-Cuban bongo, drums, violin, and saxophone. Styles featured include a lilting pirekua sung in the indigenous language of Michoacán; a sultry Columbian cumbia, a ranchera in the raucous conjunto style; and a rare ritual danza of Jalisco. Los Cenzontles are joined by legendary Cuban rumberos Gregorio ‘El Goyo’ Hernandez and Lazaro Rios with a classic Mexican ranchera in the rhythm of the Cuban guaguanco as well as an Afro-Cubanized son Jarocho from the tropics of Veracruz.

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


An astute contemporary interpretation of folk songs and dances that confirms the maturation of one of the San Francisco Bay area’s leading voices. Lovely vocal harmonies, understated traditional instrumentation, a repertoire stretching from Aztlan to Veracruz to Cuba to Colombia, sharp percussion blended with some sharply-executed zapateado footwork, and outstanding turns on reeds and violin, make this their finest outing yet. Add two visually engaging video tracks, a vertiginous hand-held portrait pursuing the group from Michoacan to their home turf in El Norte, and an appealing straight-ahead recital of the title track, palpable testimony to the promise and diverse talent that is Los Cenzontles.
Michael Stone Folk Roots Magazine