Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga
Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga

Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga

About Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga

Few bands have had as lasting an impact on Mexican popular music as “la Madre de Todas Las Bandas,” Banda El Recodo. The sprawling banda institution’s influence stems, in part, from sheer longevity: A small army of musicians has passed through its ranks since it was founded in 1938 in the town of Recodo in Mazatlán, Sinaloa. Founder Don Cruz Lizárraga, a self-taught clarinetist who reportedly sold a pig to buy his first instrument, set out to emulate 1920s brass bands like Los Sirolas, playing a combination of symphonic, martial, and popular music. Lizárraga’s mix of trombones, trumpets, tuba, clarinets, and percussion set the banda template, with brassy three-part harmonies and taut musicianship. Over the years Banda El Recodo traded waltzes and marching music for native styles like ranchera, cumbias, grupero, and norteño, forging a distinctly Mexican brass sound in the process. The group toured Mexico relentlessly for decades, beginning their conquest of North America (and beyond) in the early ’80s. They performed with a who’s who of great Mexican vocalists, including Lola Beltrán, Amalia Mendoza, and José Alfredo Jiménez, and made an album with the recorded voice of Pedro Infante for the 40th anniversary of his death in 1997. In 1989, they became the first banda to add their own vocalist to the lineup, a move that inspired others to follow suit. Lizárraga passed away in 1995, but a changing constellation of family members has helmed the band since, and the group’s fame has only grown over the years, with a string of Latin Grammys and No. 1 hits.

    Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

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