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Jarana Beat Weaves Footwork With Mexican Rhythms

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Jarana Beat Weaves Footwork With Mexican Rhythms

Music

Jarana Beat Weaves Footwork With Mexican Rhythms

Jarana Beat Weaves Footwork With Mexican Rhythms

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/142304355/142304336" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Music from Mexico is often associated with mariachi bands playing songs in wide-rimmed hats and colorful costumes. But Mexico's music is more diverse. Jarana Beat is a Brooklyn-based band that weaves traditional Mexican rhythms with fancy footwork. Dancer Claudia Valentina and musical director Sinuhe-Padilla Isunza speak with host Michel Martin.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we go behind closed doors for a look at common police interrogation techniques. There's a new documentary called "Scenes of a Crime" that asks whether these techniques, even though legal, can actually lead to false confessions. That conversation in a few minutes.

But first, we're going to take a little music break. We want to bring you an interesting mix of Mexican rhythms.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

JARANA BEAT: (Singing in Spanish Language).

MARTIN: That is Jarana Beat, a 14 member band that is known for interweaving traditional Mexican rhythms with the percussive footwork of dancers to create an authentic yet contemporary sound.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BEAT: (Singing in Spanish Language).

MARTIN: We're going to hear now from musical director, Sinuhe-Padilla Isunza and one of their dancers, Claudia Valentina, as they tell us more about their music.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SINUHE-PADILLA ISUNZA: Jarana Beat is a project, and we play a lot of different music from Mexico, like Native American music, Afro Mexican music, gypsy Mexican music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "Y NADA MAS")

BEAT: (Singing in Spanish Language).

ISUNZA: You are listening "Y Nada Mas." "Y Nada Mas" means, and nothing more.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "Y NADA MAS")

BEAT: (Singing in Spanish Language).

CLAUDIA VALENTINA: Hi. I am Claudia Valentina Montez and I am one of the dancers in Jarana Beat. We use a lot of percussive footwork in our songs. That footwork is usually done on a wooden platform and we use shoes that are similar to flamenco shoes.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "Y NADA MAS")

VALENTINA: Our footwork weaves itself into the music and we usually play around with the rhythms, so it becomes one cohesive sound and, in our performances, we usually have six dancers that are not only performing along with the musicians with their feet, but they're also playing jaranas and singing background vocals.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "Y NADA MAS")

BEAT: (Singing in Spanish Language).

MARTIN: You've been listening to the music of Jarana Beat.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "Y NADA MAS")

BEAT: (Singing in Spanish Language).

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