The music of Mexico traditionally was brought over from Spain. It was with the Rancheros, the people on the farms, and the development of groups of travelling minstrels. The Mariachi are famous for that in Jalisco.
If you go down to some of the areas along the coast such as Veracruz, you see a lot of Caribbean and African influences because of the early days of the slave trade. Music is different in different parts of Mexico. Some of the bandas are like little orchestras with tubas and horn sections and can be quite loud. It’s kind of like Polka music on steroids.
You will hear a lot of American rock n roll music in a lot of major cities. Some of the most popular bands are Pink Floyd, the Stones, and others like that. There are a lot of bands that cover that music, and they cover American blues, which is very popular, especially among a lot of people who were brought up in the 60s and 70s because that’s what they were hearing trickling down through Mexico City and through big cities, where universities had contact.
There’s a lot of rock music here now. There’s punk. There’s reggae, particularly in the city areas. But still, the traditional kind of folk music of bandas and mariachis is still is the more common that you hear, but in the resort areas you hear everything you can think of.
Jazz has gotten more popular in Ajijic because Guadalajara is a big city, and in any metropolitan area there are some trained musicians. There are great music schools, so you have classical players and jazz players. There are some very good jazz players.
In Ajijic, you will hear some jazz but you’ll also hear a lot of traditional oldies tunes. It’s a mix and it depends on where you go. The clubs come and go. In Ajijic, we have during Northern Lights in January, February and March. It’s a huge music festival of classical and Jazz that brings down artists from Canada. We also have music at the auditorium. Classical music is supported very much by the local state and federally funded groups. So you really have a lot of everything.
(The Tall Boys Band rock band playing at El Bar Co, Ajijic, Mexico, pictured.)