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Moods: Instrumental Folk: Field Recordings World: Folklore

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Los Tres Amigos-Snuviko

Los Tres Amigos-Snuviko

I met these guys from Lompoc, a norteno band, Los Hermanos Cruz. I
asked them if they’d heard any good local music. “There are these guys
over in Santa Maria, we can’t understand what they’re saying but they
play great.They don’t speak English and they don’t speak Spanish.” And
that’s where it all began.

I was off, zig-zagging my way through an amazing labyrinth here along
the central coast of California, searching for Mixtec music, music
that at times seemed mythological.

As elusive as the BB King record a 12-year-old boy was trying to find
in Suburban Chicago, I knew what I wanted but I was profoundly limited
in how I was going to find it. “Listen for the metaphor Jim, listen”,
translator Esperanza Salazar had told me about the Mixtec instrumental
music. Metaphor in instrumental music? Yes!

For me Los Tres Amigos-Snuviko is a beautiful listening experience in
part because it is a reflection of all there is to feel and learn in
this world. Just when I think I’m getting the hang of things, Los
Tres Amigos-Snuviko and the 25,000 Mixtecs that live in Santa Maria is
revealed and I have to recalibrate.

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