I extracted stills from a series of ethnographic videos by folklorist John McDowell. These video segments featured performances by The El Treinta brass band that played along the highways, en route to a palenque (shelter) where a dance would be held to honor the Virgin Mary, who is believed to have saved this town from a tropical storm several years ago.” These screenshots capture the multi-contextual performance of the brass band. The last image — dancers moving to the a cumbia song played by the brass band — represents the synergy between music and dance in this style of performance. The band plays songs mostly in the chilena rhythm, but also in cumbia, pasodoble, and other dance rhythms popular in the region.

This is a local band that play in public spaces for various celebrations and events. According to McDowell, “the instruments are makeshift and the sound raucous, but the music of bands like these is a necessary companion to all festive occasions in this region of Mexico—a role that is common for brass bands throughout much of Latin America.”

More about the brass band

Archived by EVIA Project, these videos are a part of McDowell’s large ethnographic video collection that features “the wonderful song, dance, and music of Mexico’s Costa Chica, a coastal region running south and east of Acapulco along the Pacific Ocean and inland to the foothills of the Sierra.” 

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