Mazatlan Banda Music Plays On Despite The Pandemic

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A joy to the soul and the heart?

Mazatlan is a very beautiful port with exclusive and characteristic attributes that assign it a special identity. It is populated by good, friendly people, but above all, noble and always willing people.

In this very difficult time, we are going through, many changes have been generated in the usual activities of the Mazatlan. We already know, the procedure of schools and educational institutions, which as a measure to avoid convergence the entire student community has been instructed to study their subjects through classes -online-. The businesses have had to lower their curtains to temporarily close operations, others, definitively, as they were unable to defray fixed operating costs, such as rent, wages, and salaries, among others. And although by decree, commercial activities have been resumed (from June 15 some, July 1 others) by sectors in a scheduled and gradual way, the flow of commercial transactions is of a meager level,

But, not only the industry and commerce have been suffering the inclemencies of the economic crisis, but also the art. On this occasion, I want to refer exclusively – and with special mention, as a humble tribute from a server – to the Music of Banda Mazatleca.

Band music is a genre of regional Mexican music that has existed since the end of the 19th century, and has a strong European influence on an organological style in the fanfare – both the style and the number of members in the Band, are its two main distinctive features-, with a fairly rich and nourished repertoire, ranging from traditional sones to rancheras, corridos, romantic ballads, cumbias, brass bands, boleros, polkas, waltzes and mazurkas (Mazurka refers to folk music ). The sound of the Band is very similar to that of the French, Spanish, and German wind bands.

Here, the Banda is carried in your heart, because he accompanies you in the best moments of your life, and he gets used to doing it in the worst, too. Here he laughs with the Mazatlan band and cries with her. And I have to say it this way: it is deep inside the “emotional system” of the Mazatleco.

Hiring the services of it to liven up our joy and happiness, as to accompany us in grief and pain, is already a long-standing custom that is part of our traditions,  Beer, seafood, and came asadas, too.

As that great song by Pedro Infante says, from that golden year of 1950: “You also sing of pain”.

Faced with uncertainty and the current economic crisis, hiring a music band stopped happening too.

While I was at home, I was a spectator of the talent of one of the many bands that are in the port, only this time my experience was different, because I did not hire them to come to my door, neither did my neighbors. My surprise when leaving my home was to see the band play their instruments as they walked slowly down my street. And so, for many more streets.

They played several songs, among them “My pretty wife”, “Entre Candilejas”, “Vuela Paloma”. The latter is a very popular topic among the Mazatlecos when someone leaves us, and I am referring to the moment of the grave, and it is heartbreaking since the lyrics allude to the freedom of the soul left by a deceased body.

A resilient people that wait, that resists with faith, with the hope of change and a worthy present, where we all fit.

They also played a couple of songs with a little more rhythm and very happy chords; They were very beautiful themes that I have always enjoyed, except this time. I did not find the pleasure, or that of knowing well in the mouth, in the conscience or in the heart, well, it is not the same to listen to the band at a party or in a restaurant facing the sea. Here, the pain was felt upon understanding the reasons for their transit through the streets, which point to and obey the prevailing need. There is hunger, there are desires to be well, there are desires for the arms of sadness and anguish to stop suffocating because it seems that we are running out of good sense, judgment, and sanity.

The port also sobs with its music.

You can also see them playing at vehicular and pedestrian crossings, on sidewalks, outside centers, and shops. It is inevitable not to feel oppression in the heart and to support them, as it is inevitable to use one hand to put some coins in the little pot that the musician in charge of doing, and use the other to wipe away a tear.

May empathy save us!

The Mazatlan people are one who works hard and cares for their own people, who love and join forces in society. They are caring and diligent people that are committed to improving their quality of life and their guarantees of a prosperous tomorrow. This is the verve, this is the will, this is the pride … it is the great pride of being from Mazatlán.

ALFONSO TORNERO SOTO

The Mazatlan Post