Banda El Recodo [de Cruz Lizárraga]
- Helena Simonett
[de Cruz Lizárraga]
Internationally renowned Mexican banda, originally from the village of El Recodo, some 30 miles from Mazatlán, Sinaloa. Clarinetist Cruz Lizárraga (b El Recodo, 1918; d Mazatlán, 1995), who led the band starting in 1938, secured a recording session with RCA-Victor in Mexico City in 1954 which helped to establish the band’s name beyond its regional confines. Its key to success was the musicians’ ability to accommodate their ranchera (country) music to an urban audience of the upper social strata by adopting international popular dance styles from fox trot and Cuban danzón to mambo and cumbia. Due to the band’s professional accomplishments, Lizárraga was always able to recruit the best performers out of a large pool of regional musicians. Although Banda El Recodo recorded with famous ranchera singers such as José Alfredo Jiménez in 1968, it was not until the early 1990s, when Sinaloan banda entered a new phase of international commercialization, that it began to integrate vocalists into the hitherto purely instrumental makeup. After Lizárraga’s death, his sons resumed leadership of the band. Nowadays, Banda El Recodo is one of Sinaloa’s commercially oriented, high-profile touring bands that perform styles increasingly defined by the transnational music market....