Zydeco-Mexican Connection - Los Cenzontles and Andre Thierry with special guest David Hidalgo (of Los Lobos)

Open dance floor!

Friday, May 16, 2014, 8:00 pm
(doors open at 7:00 pm)

celebrating 25th anniversary of Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center

$23 advance / $25 door

Purchase tickets online
May 16 8:00 pm

Two local treasures – the wondrous Mexican-American roots group Los Cenzontles and the sensational young zydeco master Andre Thierry – join forces to explore the zydeco-Mexican connection and unite their rich traditions into an energizing, soulful new sound.
Los Cenzontles, which means the mockingbirds, is both a musical group and an active arts organization that teaches music, dance, art, and cultural appreciation to young people in the Richmond / San Pablo area and beyond. The multi-generational band, founded by classical guitarist Eugene Rodriguez, has performed and recorded with such artists as Linda Ronstadt, Los Lobos, Ry Cooder, Jackson Browne, the Chieftains, and Taj Mahal. The New York Times has praised the “strange beauty” of their music, saying that it “sends you right away to a place you’ve never been and might never want to leave,” and adding that “it both honors and upends traditional Mexican music, tapping deep roots as it flowers into something completely new, and distinctly American.”
Andre, who hails from the same working-class area as Los Cenzontles, home to Creole and Mexican-American communities for generations, is an accordion virtuoso and a captivating singer with a smooth soul sound who has taken traditional zydeco and infused it with elements of hip-hop, blues, rock, and pop. ReverbNation calls him “a phenomenal talent” and says that “at only 32 years old, he is already a legend.” He and his band won the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame Award for Best Zydeco Group in 2008 and 2012, and earned a Grammy nomination for Regional Roots Music.
The band tonight features Eugene, Andre, Lucina Rodriguez, Fabiola Trujillo, Emiliano Rodriguez, Carlos Caro, Ruben Moreno, and Sydney Pennie, Jr., playing guitar and accordion, drums and electric bass, as well as such traditional Mexican instruments as jarana, vihuela, requinto, pandero, and quihada.
Connections between Louisiana Creoles and Mexicans reach far back to the exile of Mexican president Benito Juarez to Louisiana in the 1850’s and the subsequent migration of Creoles to Mexico, and also include the musical influence of zydeco king Clifton Chenier on Chicano legends like Freddy Fender and Los Lobos, as well as the present-day zydeco scene in Houston where young Latinos are discovering Zydeco all over again. It’s an effortless fusion, the accordion-driven rhythms of Zydeco and the Mexican rhythms of the zapateado, the zydeco rub-board and the Mexican donkey jaw, or quijada. Whether they’re singing in French, Spanish, or English, the languages flow together like the music, and the meaning is always to honor tradition and make it new, fresh, and alive.

David Hidalgo, in addition to being a founding member of multiple Grammy Award-winning Los Lobos, is a visionary artist whose talents as a singer, multi-instrumentalist and composer have made him a first choice as a recording collaborator and occasional featured band-member with artists including Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Robert Plant among many others.

Visit Los Cenzontles' website

Visit Andre Thierry's website


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Listen to sample tracks from upcoming artists.