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A magic Mexican house concert

A high talent house concert followed by an ear-splitting banda and. A magic night of Mexican music

Saturday night was Mexican musical magic . We went to a private house concert, The Popdelia Sessions, produced by Miguel Serrano, a friend through another musician. He has not produced house concerts before, but, why not? Despite a little last-minute scurrying around, at least one artist showing up who was not on the schedule, and the two tiny lights for my video camera to work with (sorry about the contrast), the final result was a magic night and a preview of two artists who just might become rising stars.

The venue was a private home known as Casa Tonatzin ( named after an Aztec mother goddess) occupied by Miguel Serrano and his girlfriend Abril in the Lakeside village of San Antonio Tlayacapan. They had moved furniture and pillows onto the spacious veranda, and spread others around the equally spacious backyard, easily accommodating the 52 people, three children and one dog that comprised the audience.


I love these kinds of neighborhood and music community house concerts because you never know if one of singers performing in front of the tip-box is going to someday be a star. Miguel brought us two main performers and a clutch of other artists. It was all good and the two female singers were magic – I think they have a shot at greater success.  

The first, Raquel Denis, mesmerized us with her angelic voice and poignant lyrics in English and Spanish, frequently introduced with an emotional or funny story about their creation. The 31-year old has just started streaming and will release her first album,  Matrilineal, Fall 2024!. The room – even the dog and children – went whisper quiet while she sang as we hung on every word and note. She had something to say and she was saying so beautifully that she held us spellbound.

She was followed by CAZO- the nom de music of Ana Sogon, who rocked the keyboard like a pro, singing original songs in Spanish and a little English. CAZO, who has an album out and a handful of songs on streaming platforms, kicked up the energy several notches. She gave us 10 songs, all delivered with a voice curled with a smile and twinkle in her eye.

But I digress from the program -the concert opened with two guys,  Jahiro Carabajal of the local band Sacivan who gave us great guitar playing and very emotional lyrics,  and Lemat, a cross between a standup comic and a very happy singer-songwriter. The concert wrapped up with a duet of CAZO on vocals and keys and one of the Medeles brothers playing hooky from the Mariachi Real de Ajijic on violin, followed by instrumentalists who were not on the program and slipped by me.

The concert ended early (for Mexico!) at 10 pm. Being gringos whose dinner hour is 6:30 pm, we were starving, so we made our way three blocks to the San Antonio Tlayacapan Annual Fiesta in search of food.  If you have never been to a village fiesta in Mexico, it is a joyful, high-decibel sensory assault which would give an American insurance company a stroke.  The focus is the town plaza which is jammed with food stands and game booths, including ones in which 7-year-old kids shoot air rifles with real pellets at beer bottles.

The one-lane side streets are jammed with a tilt-a-whirls, mini-cars.  A Giant two-story slides a merry-go-round, many kids airplane rides,  bumper cars and a full-size Ferris wheel which somehow fit into a narrow cobblestone street. At the front of the plaza on the main street was a huge covered stage, roomy enough for a full 20-piece banda band holding forth at 150 decibels, complete with flaming torches, fireworks and a giant electronic screen.

And it was packed – elbow-to- elbow jammed with happy dancing, singing, drinking,  hugging, laughing people and dogs and children. We found a table, chowed down on great tacos and even better hot dogs with sauteed onions, and Modelo Negro beer. We (slowly) toured the plaza, rocked out to the  ear-splitting music, met friends (it is a small town) and went home full of food, beer and music. A magic Mexican music night.

Patrick O’Heffernan



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About Patrick O'Heffernan, Music Sin Fronteras (471 Articles)
Patrick O’Heffernan, PhD., is a music journalist based in Mexico, with a global following. He focuses on music in English and Spanish that combines rock and rap, blues and jazz and pop with music from Latin America, especially Mexico like cumbia, banda, son jarocho, and mariachi. He is also edits a local news website and is a subeditor of a local Spanish language newspaper. Check out his weekly column Music Sin Frontera on Sunday nights.

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