Traditional Mexican music gains popularity in Mississippi
With a growing Hispanic population, the bands and similar Latin artists are preparing more shows in Mississippi.
PICAYUNE, Miss. (WLOX) - It was just another Saturday evening dinner rush at El Mariachi in Picayune, until four men walked in with leather boots and instruments in hand.
Los Cadetes Del Linares El Último Battalion were like super heroes, ready to save the day, but instead of capes around their necks they had sombreros on their heads.
The band opened for Los Marineros Del Norte during their tour stop in South Mississippi, enjoying a packed house in the restaurant’s dinning area.
“(We love) the applause of the people supporting us,” said Jose Urias, lead singer of Los Marineros Del Norte.
The bands brought out their accordions, guitars, basses and drums, with the crowd singing along.
“This is classic Norteño. It is one of the styles that are sacred,” said Jose Mario Mireles, lead singer for Los Cadetes Del Linares. “It will be remembered for decades to come.”
The bands play a style of music from North Mexico. European migrants in the late 19th century brought over their instruments and music styles to blend with the Mexicans in the region. It’s been made popular by ranchers in the area and now it the music of choice for many Mexicans and other Latin American people.
But what makes Los Cadetes Del Linares more special, is their tributes to Lupe Tijerina, their leader who died in 2016.
“We try to make a sound just like he would have wanted,” Mireles said.
Both bands perform for crowd and for country while on tour in the U.S. They are honoring one of the Mexican Independence Day at their performances, making sure the crowd acknowledges and celebrates the history for all of their September shows.
“It’s a Mexican tradition that we have to continue,” Mireles said.
With a growing Hispanic population, the bands and similar Latin artists are preparing more shows in Mississippi. The latest U.S. Census data shows the Hispanic population grew 29.1% since 2010, the largest increase out of any racial/ethic group.
“We thank the people who always support this music,” Urias said.
Shows like these are becoming more and more common, especially along the coast. Club 34 in Gulfport hosts international Latin stars almost every weekend and with an increase in shows musicians hope bigger crowds hear more of their sound.
“It is part of the Mexican roots,” Mireles said.
Norteño is a part of Mexico like rock and roll is a part of America, and the musicians hope migrants and younger generations keep the traditions that tie them to their homeland.
“It’s very important for the people living in the United States to not lose that patriotism,” Mireles said.
To read this story in Spanish, click here.
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