Reflections on the Veracruz Son Jarocho: Images, Politics and Selected Themes of a Mexican Music and Dance Tradition (Hispanic Studies: Culture and Ideas #88) (Paperback)
In Reflections on the Veracruz son jarocho, guitarist-ethnomusicologist Randall Kohl brings something special to the surging feast of scholarship treating Mexico's renowned regional music, the son jarocho. Part history and part cultural analysis, and both qualitative and quantitative in approach, the book explores music as music, music as business, and music as a dynamic expression of Mexican social history. Professor Kohl of the Universidad Veracruzana in Xalapa interweaves original research with a half century of scholarship to chart key vectors in the evolution of a music, a culture, and a region.
(Daniel Sheehy, PhD, Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Museums and Culture; Interim Director, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings; Director & Curator Emeritus, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)
While most of the recent English-language scholarship on son jarocho has focused on its use as a platform for activism and identity formation in the US, Randall Kohl's Reflections on the Veracruz son jarocho takes a refreshing look at the genre's practice in its home state of Veracruz. This work offers an excellent introduction to the genre for the unfamiliar, including son jarocho's history, revival, style traits, subgenres, and recent fusions with other idioms. This is a wide-ranging and accessible book, and an important contribution to our growing understanding of this rich regional tradition.
(Gregory Reish, Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University)
Randall Kohl's deep understanding of son jarocho shines through in this book. Built on years of ethnographic immersion in the musical community of Xalapa and its environs, this book expertly traverses the textual, performative and cultural terrain of this important musical vernacular of Mexico. This first book in English on the son jarocho will be an invaluable resource for both scholars and general readers with an interest in the genre.
(Anandam Kavoori, Professor, Department of Entertainment and Media Studies, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA)
Once associated principally with the Veracruz countryside, the son jarocho music and dance tradition is now establishing itself as a twenty-first-century urban practice caught in a struggle between firmly established customs and newly adaptive strategies. This book presents an overview of the music's history and musical characteristics along with specific looks at its texts, iconography, past and present academic trends and other details. It also examines the recently closed local centro de cultura, La Casa de Nadie, as a focal point for son jarocho activity in the city of Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.