Flushing Town Hall celebrates 12th annual NY Son Jarocho Festival with Mexican Band Caña Dulce y Caña Brava

Flushing Town Hall
Mexican-based ensemble Caña Dulce y Caña Brava (Photo courtesy of Flushing Town Hall)

The annual NY Son Jarocho Festival will conclude a weeklong celebration of son jarocho — the music, dance, and culture of Veracruz, Mexico — with a full afternoon of performances at Flushing Town Hall on Saturday, Nov. 19. 

The event will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Featuring a lineup of nine different ensembles, the headlining artists Caña Dulce y Caña Brava will end the program with a full set.

The Festival is a co-presentation by Flushing Town Hall and the Son Jarocho NY Collective and will feature an array of East Coast Son Jarocho groups: Son Pecadores, Jarana Beat, Soneros de City Lore, Efrén, Rojo Cascabel, Son Revoltura, Guachinangos, and the Ameyal Mexican Cultural Organization.

Son jarocho is a style of folk music that originated in Veracruz, Mexico. It has its roots in the Spanish migration during the colonial period, which brought sounds, rhythms, and instrumentation from the African Diaspora, Roma communities, and Arab populations of the Iberian Peninsula to Mexico, where they mixed with indigenous Mexican musical traditions. Son jarocho has continued evolving over a period of some 300 years. Today it enjoys followers around the world.

“We are delighted to showcase a sampling of Mexico’s musical artistry and rich history on our stage and to welcome audiences to enjoy son jarocho in Queens,” said Ellen Kodadek, executive & artistic director of Flushing Town Hall. “Flushing Town Hall is proud to be New York’s home for global music, and we encourage New Yorkers of all backgrounds to join us for this fantastic Festival.”

The concert from Mexican-based ensemble Caña Dulce y Caña Brava is sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and offers a performance exhibiting the music, poetry, dance, and traditional attire of Veracruz, Mexico. 

Highlighting feminine poetry and voices, Caña Dulce y Caña Brava will take audiences on a voyage through multiple rhythms, accompanied by traditional string instruments such as the harp and the jarana, the zapateado (a percussive dance done on a wooden platform, considered the “heartbeat” of son jarocho), and poetic improvisation in rhyme. 

Offering an assortment of colors, textures and images to diverse and multi-generational audiences, the ensemble is defined by an original aesthetic that unites the traditional with the vanguard in a contemporary stage proposal. Since its formation in 2007, the group has carried the seal of feminine strength and beauty within the traditionally masculine world of Mexican sonThe sounds of the strings interweave with the poetic messages written from a woman’s perspective, creating a facet not before seen within this musical genre. The group’s most recent album is Acentos (2019). 

Tickets for the performance can be purchased here (In-Person Tickets: $15 General Admission/$12 Members, Seniors, & Students).

Additional events in the annual Son Jarocho Festival to be hosted at Flushing Town Hall will include a series of Son Jarocho Workshops at 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 15 and 16. Sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the workshops will be taught by Caña Dulce y Caña Brava group members for participants to learn Jarana, Leona, y Zapateado. A Spanish-language Son Jarocho Festival Panel Discussion sponsored by the CUNY Mexican Studies Institute will be held on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.