hispanic

The King of the Accordion

The King of the Accordion – Click for more images

Yes!! There is a king of the accordion and his name is Ramon Ayala.

Ayala, a four-time Grammy winner packed Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s summer amphitheater for the second year in a row on Friday night.

The 66 year old Ayala is a legend of norteño music and is one of the most recognized and best-selling artists of the genre.

Ayala played to norteño and tejano fans from both sides of the border, with fans singing along to every song. While I have no idea what the hell he was singing, I found it thoroughly entertaining as he worked his magic on the mostly older crowd.

Ayala arrived on stage with his trademark green, white and red accordion. The crowd erupted in cheers and several individuals made their way up to the stage to pay tribute to the man.

Ramon Ayala – Click for more images

Now as anyone who knows me will tell you, I am NOT a fan of the accordion, but I have to say when Ayala is playing its pretty spectacular to listen to.

Ayala was joined on stage by his band, known as Bravos del Norte. Band members were Mario Marichalar (bajo sexton and vocals), Fidencio Ayala (bass), Jose Luis Ayala (drums and vocals), David Laure (percussion) and Raul Rosales (emcee and percussion).

Lorenzo and Ayala

Ayala played a number of his hits including “Mi Piquito de Oro,” a Latin version of “Cotton Fields,” and “Un Puno de Tierra,” which had the entire audience on their feet.

Since I didn’t understand what was being said it was interesting watching the crowd’s reaction to, not only the music, but the dialog as emcee Rosales shouted out to the crowd. Apparently they were taking requests from audience members.

Midway through the performance Thunder Valley Casino gave away an autographed accordion signed the legendary performer. Audience member Lorenzo won the accordion and he was able to go onstage to collect his prize and meet the man himself.


La Original Banda El Limon

Banda El Limon - Click for more images

La Original Banda El Limon was kicking it old school ““ Mexican style – at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Saturday.

The always sexy Carmen Jara opened for Banda El Limon in Thunder Valley Casino’s outdoor amphitheater for the second concert of the Summer Concert Series. While I don’t speak Spanish, I do appreciate good music, and thought Jara was doing a fantastic job. However, the crowd just wasn’t getting into her performance.

Jara was doing everything she could to work up the crowd. She unsuccessfully tried getting the crowd on their feet and clapping to the beat of the music.

Jara was popular in the 90′s and became known as a member of the new Mexican folklore. Performing in Tijuana as a child she moved to Mexico City at the age of 16 to further her career in music.

Carmen Jara

After her debut album Herencia, she signed on with Fonovisa, debuting with La Mujer…El Nuevo Folklore de Mexico and 1994′s Y Tú Te Quedas. She really came into her own in 1996 with the release of Mujer Enamorada, followed by Con Sentimiento in 1997.

Once La Original Banda El Limon took the stage the energy in the audience completely changed. As they went from song to song with horns blaring, including a gargantuan tuba, audience members were dancing in the aisles and at their seats.

The 17 member band put on a high energy show from start to finish. They were well choreographed and well-polished with every band member dressed in the same red suit.

Original Banda el Limón is one of the oldest groups in contemporary Mexican banda. Originating in the 60′s and led by clarinetist Salvador Lizarraga Sánchez, the 17-member band has featured many classic vocalists during its history, including Julio Preciado, José Ángel Ledesma (“El Coyote”), Jorge Cordero, Luis Antonio López (“El Mimoso”), and Nico Flores.

Throughout their history, the group has balanced old and new music with a traditional sound. There were the first banda artists to amplify and synthesize their sound.

I was not able to get all of the band member’s names, but below is a list of the ones I did get.

Gotta Love That Tuba!

Juan Barbosa Lizarraga

Alberto “Zapatitos”

Jorgito

Andrey Lizarraga

Jorge Lizarraga “EL MAYA”

Abraham Rodriguez “Tejillas”

Eduardo Osuna “TAPON”

Ruben Lizarraga

Juan Luis “EL TROSO”

Cesar Ochoa “EL SUPER”

Francisco Lizarraga “Panchito”

Luis Antonio “Tonio”

Agustin Torres

Carlos Lizarraga

Cesar Ochoa

Catch Ramon Ayala on Saturday, September 15th, at Thunder Valley Casino Resort. Last years show sold-out so get your tickets early.

Arturo Cisneros plays Thunder Valley

Arturo Cisneros - Click for more images

Latinos flocked to Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Friday to see Arturo Cisneros Y sus Freddy’s perform in Pano Hall.

Cisneros was wildly popular in Mexico back in the 60′s and 70′s playing Spanish versions of American hit songs and his own original romantic ballads.

I was a bit concerned that Cisneros would be playing to an empty Pano Hall, when at 8:00 the hall was  half empty, or was it half full? That all changed within 5 minutes as Pano Hall started filling and by 8:05 was almost to capacity.

The crowd was somewhat subdued as the show began, but seemed to come to life as Cisneros started playing from his long list of hits.

This was an older crowd that was quite happy to remain in their seats. However, during several songs a number of people were getting up to dance.

At one point I was jarred awake by some booing. How rude! I was quite content to nap while taking in some good tunes, but I guess that just wasn’t meant to be. I realized the audience was booing a security guard for telling a couple dancing in the front row to move or sit down so others could see.

Security never gets a break.

The band was originally known as los Freddy’s until Cisneros left the group in 1994. He formed his own version of los Freddys’ touring under Arturo Cisneros Y sus Freddy’s. The new band included past los Freddy members Octavio Aguilar, Raziel de Lugo, and Ruperto Lopez

The Freddy’s that now make up the band are Octavio (keyboards), Ruperto (drums), Chall (bass), and Jorge (lead guitar).

I know, not a Fred in the lot – go figure.

Ramon Ayala at Thunder Valley Casino

Click for more images

The “King of the Accordion” and four-time Grammy winner Ramon Ayala played to norteño and tejano fans from both sides of the border, with most fans singing along to every song. A mostly older crowd jammed into Thunder Valley Casino and Resort to watch their old favorite perform. There were a few younger fans peppered throughout, enjoying the music just as much as their elders.

Ayala arrived on stage with his trademark green, white and red accordion. The crowd erupted in cheers and several individuals made their way up to the stage to pay tribute to the man.

Ayala was joined on stage by his band, known as Bravos del Norte. Band members were Mario Marichalar (bajo sexton and vocals), Fidencio Ayala (bass), Jose Luis Ayala (drums and vocals), David Laure (percussion) and Raul Rosales (emcee and percussion).

Ayala played a number of his hits including “Mi Piquito de Oro,” a Latin version of “Cotton Fields,” and “Un Puño de Tierra,” which had the entire audience on their feet.

I’m used to seeing Thunder Valley Casino’s outdoor stage packed with instruments, amps and gear of all shapes and sizes, but when I looked at the stage there was a set of drums, congas and some microphones. I thought for sure they hadn’t finished setting up. The band performs with a minimum amount of gear which consists of a set of drums, congas, two accordions, bajo sexto and a bass.

It was fun watching the crowd react to each and every song. You could see couples looking into each other’s eyes. I’m sure some were remembering when they first met, others their first kiss, all to the music they were listening to at the time. Some songs had people swaying in their seats, while others brought them to their feet. It was obvious they knew each and every song.

Ramon Ayala has been singing, composing and playing his accordion for over 45 years. He has recorded over 100 albums and has been featured in thirteen movies. He is considered a legend of norteño music and is one of the most recognized and bestselling artists of the genre.

Free counters!