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Every Wednesday at 4pm the North 103.3 highlights global artists during Northland Afternoon

World Music Wednesday: Mariachi los Camperos

Michael G. Stewart
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

World Music Wednesday is a weekly segment on The North 103.3 FM. Every Wednesday at 4pm on Northland Afternoon, we will feature a brand-new release or a significantly important past work from our vast library of music from around the world.

Support for World Music Wednesday comes from Simply Ballroom in Duluth's Craft District.

Last week, World Music Wednesday traveled north of the US border, so this week we will head south. Today's World Music Wednesday spotlights the music of Mariachi los Camperos, a multiple Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles–based mariachi ensemble which was formerly led by Natividad "Nati" Cano. Growing out of a group formed in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, Nati Cano joined the group in the 1950s. After relocating the group to Los Angeles in 1961, Nati Cano renamed the ensemble Mariachi los Camperos. Later, the group was often dubbed Mariachi los Camperos de Nati Cano.

Among the recordings they have made over the years, one of the more notable collaborations was as one of the mariachis that played with Linda Ronstadt on her well-known 1987 album, Canciones de Mi Padre. Over the years, their recordings have included an increasing use and lovely arrangements of strings, not only as a solo instrument, but in a broader orchestral sound.

As an ensemble lasting for over a half-century, the group has seen several personnel changes. The founder, Nati Cano, died in 2014. Currently they are an eight-piece group led by violinist Juan Jiménez, featuring four violins, trumpet, guitar, guitarrón and harp. 

They have earned two Grammy Awards for Best Regional Mexican Album, one for Amor, Dolor Y Lágrimas: Música Ranchera in 2009, the other for De Ayer Para Siempre in 2020. Their latest recording, Sones De Mariachi, is due to be released in 2024. The first single from that album is out now, "El Toro Viejo."

Chris Harwood is The North 1033’s Production Director and (acting) Program Director, a morning/daytime host, and the host of Soul Village. He is also a musician, a music historian, an audio engineer, and an avid record collector.
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