Date of Degree
affinity group, community music, movimiento jaranero, convivencia, fandango, zapateado
This dissertation analyzes the ways son jarocho (the Mexican regional music, dance, and poetic tradition) and the fandango (the son jarocho communitarian musical celebration), have been used as community-building tools among Mexican and non-Mexican musicians in New York City. Since the late 1970s, the participatory elements of son jarocho have been revitalized for not only the preservation of the fandango, but also for the purpose of creating a community-building tool that can be adapted and applied to create musical communities. Across the U.S. and in Mexico, son jarocho communities have formed, using similar methods of musical instruction, communitarian music making, and dissemination of the fandango. I argue that New York City’s son jarocho community serves as an example of an “affinity group” that is based not only in a collective “taste” or preference for the musical genre, but also for participatory music making. In addition, this dissertation demonstrates that the revived practices of son jarocho are reinvented and reveal material limits to inclusivity in community music. In Chapter 2, I highlight the socio-historical context of the movimiento jaranero (son jarocho movement and revival) that began in Mexico to analyze the community-building project in New York City. In Chapter 3, I use the revived or reinvented principle of convivencia—conviviality, coexistence, or participation—to examine how the New York City son jarocho community has adapted practices of the fandango to its circumstances and how specific practices are in the process of further reinvention. Last, Chapter 4 examines the under-studied percussive dance of the fandango and son jarocho: zapateado. The zapateado is an interesting musical element not only to the music performed at a fandango, but is also becoming more relevant to son jarocho professional, staged performance. Overall, the jaranero community of New York City is an example of a community-building project of Mexicans and non-Mexicans, revealing the ways musical practices become repurposed and reinvented in new social settings.
Williamson, Emily J., "The Son Jarocho Revival: Reinvention and Community Building in a Mexican Music Scene in New York City" (2018). CUNY Academic Works.