MTSU co-hosts free webinar on Mexican folk music’s...

MTSU co-hosts free webinar on Mexican folk music’s role in organizing communities

The Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University is putting an international focus on music’s unifying power in a free online panel discussion, set Thursday, Nov. 4.

“El Son Y La Comunidad: Son Jarocho as a Tool for Community Organizing,” co-hosted by the Programa de Estudios sobre America del Norte at the Universidad Veracruzana in Xalapa, Veracruz, is set for 5 p.m. Central Nov. 4. (Editor’s note: Corrected time updated from original post.)

The Zoom link for the free public event is, and the passcode is Veracruz.

MTSU fall21 son jarocho panel poster with text including

Click on the poster to see a larger version.

Set to discuss the community use of the centuries-old Mexican folk music tradition are panelists Sael Bernal and Camil Meseguer Rioux of La Casa de Nadie in Xalapa; Rafael Figueroa Hernández of the Universidad Veracruzana; and Cecilia Prado and Julio Fernandez of Nashville’s Workers’ Dignity Project/Dignidad Obrera.

Center director Greg Reish and Ignacio Sanchez of the university in Veracruz will serve as moderators.

Son jarocho music originated when Spanish, Indigenous and African cultures came together in the Gulf Coast region of Mexico, particularly the state of Veracruz and its ports, as African slave trade expanded in the 15th and early 16th centuries.

The traditional, rural style includes stanzas sung by a pregonero, or lead singer, to the accompaniment of regional guitars and a harp; the best-known song is probably “La Bamba,” popularized by music pioneer Ritchie Valens by combining traditional Latin American music with rock.

Son jarocho also incorporates the resistance and social justice efforts of its founding cultures. The tradition has continued through the years as people used fandangos, or community festivals, where son jarocho music was played as opportunities to inform and organize communities.

Center for Popular Music logoThe Center for Popular Music at MTSU, part of the College of Media and Entertainment, is one of the world’s oldest and largest research centers devoted to studying American folk and popular music from the early 18th century to the present.

The center also develops and sponsors programs in American vernacular music and presents special concerts, lectures and events for the campus community.

For more information on the Center for Popular Music and its projects and special events, visit

— Gina E. Fann (