Son Jarocho music returns to Namba on Saturday, August 17th at 8pm!
CHUCUMITE (pronounced Choo-Koo-Me-Tay) is a four person ensemble that live and breathe the “Son Jarocho” music rooted in VeraCruz, Mexico.
When the Spaniards entered Mexico for the first time in 1519, they brought European musical genres and instruments with them. The indigenous peoples of Mexico had never seen stringed instruments before, and developed their own versions of the European instruments.. In the Baroque period, the Spanish harp was played only in church services, but the indigenous people of Veracruz developed their own musical genre over time, utilizing their versions of the European instruments, particularly the “arpa”, or harp, the “vihuela”, which was different from the Western Mexican vihuela, and the baroque guitar. There is also a great similarity between the requinto jarocho and the “Laud”, an instrument played in Islamic world and brought to Spain with the Moors. The result of this cultural blending became the Son Jarocho, born of the union of three musical roots, the European, the indigenous and the African influence, brought into Mexico with African slaves.
Chucmuite was founded by Santa Paula native John Robles, who plays the “arpa jarocha”, or Veracruz folk harp, and Robert Perales, a native of East L.A. now living in Santa Barbara, who plays an eight-stringed rhythm guitar called the “jarana jarocha”. Robles and Perales have been playing together for over 20 years, and have played up and down the Pacific coast as well as in at music festivals in Mexico.
Sean Hutchinson, joined the group in its early days in 2009. Hutchinson, raised in Montecito, California, was an accomplished bass player in several rock bands, and when he was introduced to son jarocho, he fell in love with it. As a bassist, he had a natural affinity for the instrument called the “Leona”, meaning “lioness”, a large four stringed instrument played with a heavy pick made traditionally of cowhorn.
The group was rounded out by the fourth and newest member of the group, David Salais, who hails from Porterville, California and who has an extensive background of musicianship, playing in mariachis and teaching guitar.Salais plays the “requinto jarocho”, a smaller four stringed instrument which, like the harp carries a melodic line.
David Salais is also a luthier who hand builds the amazing instruments in the tradition of the Veracruz region and will share how he creates these musical masterpieces.