New Life for Violin in Mexico’s Hotlands
by Lindajoy Fenley
Once upon a time, the music of Tierra Caliente was hidden treasure – wild and charismatic violin music lifted up by guitar chords, rooted in driving bass runs, and punctuated by varied sounds of a little drum called the tamborita. The few who knew about it – people living in other parts of Mexico – coveted recordings of an incredibly talented violinist. They shared their recordings of Juan Reynoso with awe-struck friends and then lamented, “You’ll never hear him live; he’s no longer with us.”
The talented violinist they mourned, however, was still alive, living in a dusty little town about six hours southwest of Mexico City when I met him in 1992. “I play yesterday’s music,” he told me and shook his head because he felt it wasn’t appreciated anymore. He didn’t know he had fans far away who thought he had passed away. Nor did he know that within a couple of years he’d have many more fans in the United States as well as Mexico and that the President of Mexico would hand him the National Award for Science and the Arts in 1997.
SEE FULL ARTICLE IN: ReVista, January 2016 …http://revista.drclas.harvard.edu
Juan Reynoso and Lindajoy Fenley/ Photo by Chris Vail