Trío Chicontepec & Huastecan Fiddling at 2011 Fiddle Tunes

Trío-Chicontepec When I checked out Trio Chicontepec on YouTube, it made me want to put on my dancing shoes and stomp around – even though I’m pretty much of a non-dancer.

There is something that you can absorb about a traditional style by dancing to the music, trying to move the way the genuine people move, walking in their shoes in a way – just as you absorb some important aspects of a traditional music by listening to the way the musicians speak – the lilt of their voices, the way their voices rise and fall plays into the way the music is phrased, even for instrumental music.

Rolando “Quecho” Hernandez, founder and patriarch of the group, is truly a fiddle virtuoso, with cascades of elaborate flowery notes, but his music sounds like fun, and the vocal harmonies are wonderful. He started Trio Chicontepec in the 1950s and they’ve played all over the globe, but they also have a music school  in Chicontepec where kids and adults of all ages come to learn how to play the fiddle and the jarana.

They are super-welcoming people who will encourage you to express yourself and take part in the festivities, whether by playing a tune or by dancing. There is a saying “El que lo pida, lo baila” – whoever asks for the tune, has to dance it – so I hope that folks will not be shy about making requests!

–Suzy Thompson