Music & Words | Tierra Caliente

Tierra Caliente
A colourful band, dressed in traditional silver-trimmed suits and sombreros: mariachi group Tierra Caliente.

Founder Ramon Balderas Sanchez was born and raised in Mexico City, but moved to Paris to study at the conservatory. After he came to live in the Netherlands he decided to keep working with his Mexican roots and founded the band Tierra Caliente (named after a region in Mexico) in 1986.
Tierra Caliente consists of two Dutch female violin players, a salsero-trumpet player from the Bronx and three Mexican musicians. The fact that two memebers of the band are females is rather unusual for a mariachi-group, as this music is traditionally handed down from father to son.
The music stems from ‘Los Altos de Jalisco’, in the northwest of Mexico. For a long time people considered the name to be derived from the French ‘mariage’, but this is impossible since the first mestizo-musicians already played this music over three hundred years ago. At the beginning of this century mariachi-bands became very popular in Mexico City, where they played at parties, markets and in cantinas. There has been no film made in Mexico after the thirties that did not feature a mariachi band.
The album
Although the band came into existence only recently, they already appeared in several radio and television shows. An important event for the band was the accompaniment of that fine Mexican singer MARIA DE LOURDES, both during her tour and on her cd.
Tierra Caliente has now released its first own cd, called Mestiza. The album gives a survey of traditional Mexican music. Not all the material is mariachi-music, although it is played in that style. The featured songs are either traditional or belong to the ‘classic’ mariachi music. The line-up with vihuela and guitarron is very typical for this musical style.
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