At East Austin’s Treasure City Thrift, the lights remained on one recent evening after closing time. Customers had gone home, but from the back corner of the store, past the thrift shop’s hodgepodge of Dole banana crates, floor lamps and books, came the rhythmic sounds of several small-bodied guitars that, though the resemble ukuleles from afar, are actually jaranas — tiny but mighty stringed instruments that bring to life the son jarocho sound.
Most Americans first heard son jarocho without realizing it with Ritchie Valens’ rock ‘n’ roll cover of the son jarocho song “La Bamba.” The folk music originated in Mexico’s Veracruz region generations ago, and it also has African and indigenous influences.
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Son Armado fandango workshops
When: 7:30 p.m., every first Thursday of the month
Where: Treasure City Thrift, 2142 E. Seventh St.
Information: Find Son Armado online at facebook.com/sonarmado.
Other son jarocho-inspired musical outfits:
Las Cafeteras — Los Angeles, lascafeteras.com
Radio Jarocho — New York, radiojarocho.com
Sistema Bomb — San Francisco, sistemabomb.com