Welcome to the city Oaxaca, where color radiates from the vibrantly painted colonial houses, chilies in the markets, and the traditional textile Indian women. The Oaxaca music scene is just as pulsating. Oaxaca’s musical tradition is vast, with the different tonal languages of native groups and the instruments used in each giving rise to an explosion of great musical.
On the streets of the city, you can hear musica ranchera, bolero, cumbia, danzon, mariachi music, and wild brass bands playing in indigenous villages. Native beats cross-pollinate with the Austrian and French brass band tradition as well as Spain’s tragic music; while African slaves introduced the marimba and upbeat rhythms. These all add flavor to Oaxaca music that people of today enjoy.
Young people are still passionate about indigenous music, since the Oaxacan life and music are inseparable. Today, more and more youngsters are becoming involved in nueva trova. Trovadores or trova players are traditional guitarists who sing their songs and poems in bars and cantinas. They combine their songs with clave, danza habana, and bolero rhythms. Nueva trova today is has sociopolitical nature.
The alternative Oaxaca music scene is also alive and kicking, as evidenced by the many posters advertising punk, rave, and electronica events.