Sones de México are a Chicago-based ensemble dedicated to Mexican folk music styles such as huapango, gustos, chilenas, son jarocho, and more. Not only do they play the styles, but they also play instruments native to the styles. Their devotion and careful study of Mexican folk music earned them a cascade of acclaim, particularly from a critical standpoint, as they were nominated for awards (e.g., Grammys) and featured in the press (e.g., NPR). Moreover, as if their tradition-mindedness weren't enough, they're certified as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization with an emphasis on education.
Formed in 1994, Sones de México (commonly billed by their full name, Sones de México Ensemble Chicago) are comprised of music director Víctor Pichardo(violin, mandolin, vihuela, quinta haupanguera, jarana tercera, clarinet, caracol, quijada, baritone vocals), producer Juan Díes (guitarrón, bass, guitar, teponaztli, ayacaxtli, vocals), Zacbé Pichardo (marimba, cajón, congas, bongos, jarana, harp), Lorena Iñiguez (vihuela, jarana, flute, zapateado, ayoyotes, cajón, quijada, claves, güiro), Javier Saume (drums, maracas, mallets, cajón, percussion), and Juan Rivera (violin, requinto jarocho, jarana, guitar, small percussion, tenor vocals). Sones de México albums have been few and far between but are each unique and noteworthy. Packaged lovingly, laden with liner notes and lyric sheets, and self-released, they include ¡Que Florezca! (Let It Bloom) (1996), Fandango on 18th Street (2002), and Esta Tierra Es Tuya (This Land Is Your Land) (2007). The latter album was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award in the category of Best Folk Album in 2007 and was also nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album in 2008.