Band will share musical traditions from across Mexico
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Sons of Mexico band members on train platform
Sones de México will celebrate its 20th anniversary while participating in Hancher programs in Iowa City and other communities. Photo by Todd Winters

The University of Iowa’s Hancher will present Sones de México on Friday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Englert Theatre in downtown Iowa City. Sones de México is Chicago’s premier folk music ensemble, specializing in a wide variety of Mexican musical forms.

Sones de México formed in 1994 to keep Mexican music traditions alive in many regional forms. The ensemble has developed and popularized many original arrangements of traditional Mexican tunes. The six-member group endeavors to create a more nuanced understanding of the multiple cultures and regions of Mexico by performing authentic examples of regional styles such as son jarocho (a fusion of indigenous, Spanish, and African musical elements from the state of Veracruz) and chilenas (a couples dance from Oaxaca that derives its name from the Chilean sailors who frequented the ports).

Members of the ensemble hail from a variety of regions in Mexico, where many began their studies in music. All band members play multiple instruments and are specialists in a regional style. Sones de México continues to push the boundaries of their music with new compositions and musical influences including recent collaborations with chamber music ensembles and the use of Mayan rhythms on the band’s latest album.

Deeply committed to education, Sones de México has worked throughout the United States and Mexico with audiences of all ages. The group’s performances for children are interactive and include music demonstrations from several regions of Mexico, storytelling in both English and Spanish, and dancing. The members of the group also hold master classes for music and dance students, and offer a class that connects math and music composition, relating the arts directly to national curriculum standards.

As part of the band’s week-long residency, Sones de México will spend two days in West Liberty, connecting with students through large assembly performances and working with students in more intimate classroom settings. The group will also perform for students in the Iowa City Community School District and present a lecture at the Iowa City Senior Center. The residency will have a special focus on deepening understanding about the different regions and cultures of Mexico.

The lecture at the Iowa City Senior Center, entitled “A Musical Geography of Mexico,” will be held on Tuesday, April 8, at 3:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

The band’s concert at West Liberty High School on Thursday, April 10, at 7 p.m. is also free and open to the public.

The band will celebrate its 20th anniversary during its week in Iowa City.

The residency and performance by Sones de México is supported in part by an award from the Iowa Arts Council. They are also supported by the Hancher Partners and gifts to the Hancher Circle through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets are $30 and $25 for nonstudents; $27 and $22.50 for senior citizens; $27 and $10 for college students; and $15 and $10 from the Hancher Box Office.

The Hancher Box Office, located on the first floor of the south end of the Old Capitol Mall near the parking ramp, is open for phone (335-1160 or 800-HANCHER) or walk-up business from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Tickets may be ordered online at the Hancher website. Any remaining tickets will be available for sale one hour before show time at the Englert.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, contact the Hancher Box Office in advance at 319-335-1158.