Event organised with the support of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Institut Français

With the support of EDF Energies Nouvelles and Air France

These concerts will be recorded by France Musique

Los Conjuradoras de San Cristobal de Las Casas © the Paris Autumn Festival

traditional and popular Mexican music

In partnership with the Paris Fall Festival, a week of concerts is dedicated to traditional rural Mexican music, with three invited groups presenting the popular vocal and instrumental forms anchored in particular geographic areas.

a Paris Fall Festival/musée du quai Branly co-production


  • by telephone on +33 (0) 1 56 61 71 72 from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4.30 pm or +33 (0) 1 53 45 17 17 from 11 am to 1 pm and from 2.30 pm to 6 pm during July and from 11 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5.30 pm during August
  • on the Fall Festival website or on the Fnac Events site (new window)

Traditional and ritual music

incantations from Chiapas; polyphonies from Durango

Sunday 9th and Friday 14th October 2011 at 2.00 pm
Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th October at 7.00 pm
Saturday 15th October at 5.00 pm

Claude Lévi-Strauss theater

Incantations and songs of Maya women, by the Conjuradoras de San Cristobal de Las Casas, State of Chiapas
Canción Cardenche; four voice polyphony by Cardencheros de Sapioriz, State of Durango

With a wealth of languages and traditions, Mexico is a melting pot of cultures, a captivating blend accumulated since before the colonisation, and favoured since the 17th century by complex maritime exchanges with the continents. In the east, merchant vessels crossing the Caribbean from Africa, the Canary Islands and the Iberian peninsula landed at Veracruz. In the west, galleons including those of the Nao from China provided the link between China, the Philippines and Acapulco, where the treasures of the Orient so desired by the Spanish were unloaded.

Popular music of the regions of the Gulf of Mexico

Son is the son, a popular air and the dance to which it belongs, but also, more generally a culture and a set of local traditions. In the 17th century, the Spanish Baroque repertoire was already named son barroco. The Mexican Creoles and Mestizos borrowed themes, forms, harmonies, rhythms and the timbres of some pinched chords. But they transformed their vernacular models with the addition of American Indian, Caribbean and African contributions, according to the prevailing population migrations, routes, economic activities and administrative regions.

Son Jarocho from Vera Cruz, with Son de Madera

Saturday October 8th at 8.00 pm

Sunday October 9th at 5.00 pm

Claude Lévi-Strauss theater

The group Son de Madera (Sound of Wood) is dedicated to the son jarocho, which was initially rural but is now characteristic of the State of Veracruz where it forms an essential part of this now urban community. "It's music, it's dance, it's teaching, it's instrument making and it's a little bit of research and recovery", says its founder, the guitarist and singer Ramón Gutiérrez. The event combines singing, poetic jousting and improvised music about love, history and social satire, played on the jarana tercera guitar, the guitarra de son and the double-bass and musically reminiscent of Andalusia, with the zapateado dance –  also of Spanish origin – performed on a wooden platform (tarima) and adding percussion to the deep telluric vibrations.

Son Huasteco, with Los Camperos de Valles

Friday 14th and Saturday 15th October at 8.00 pm
Sunday 16th October at 5.00 pm

Claude Lévi-Strauss theater

It is the son huasteco that distinguishes Los Camperos de Valles (The Companions of Valles), from the State of San Luis Potosí. In these lands of cattle, sugar cane and oil exploitation, weddings, funeral wakes, popular or religious festivals always involve singing and dancing by groups linked to the Maya in the south and to the ancient Aztec. The son huasteco of these Huastec populations; mixed, Mestizo, originally from several states to the north and west of Veracruz, is played by a trio: a virtuoso violin of ornate improvisations, a melodic quinta or huapanguera guitar and a smaller jarana huasteca guitar with a grippingly energetic falsetto. In six verse coplas, the voices are raised in turn to create memories of pleasure and the pain of love.