Chicago is home to many fine and famous children's music recording artists and performers. From the "first lady of children's music," Ella Jenkins, to the clever and creative Joel Frankel, Chicago's children's music has something to offer all children. Here is another CD you might want to add to your family music collection: Fiesta Mexicana: Mexican Songs & Stories for Niños & Niñas and their Papás & Mamás by Sones de México Ensemble
This project is unique in the fact that one CD is in English, one in Spanish. Sones de México takes listeners on a musical tour of Mexico that incorporates a wide range of acoustic folk music and folklore. This is truly a showcase of traditional and classic Mexican folk songs.Sones de Mexico Ensemble has been performing its educational programs in Chicago schools since 1994 and though its focus is Mexican culture, the themes are universal and education-based. "Kids learn about tempo in music, about loving animals and about the importance of balance in the world and in one's self," producer Juan Dies states.
One of my favorite songs is the Tex-Mex flavored "El Ratón Vaquero," a funny story of a restless cowboy mouse that features guest performer and master button accordion player, Sunny Sauceda. Other great guest artists include Ella Jenkins, who showcases her Spanish with "Quiéreme Mucho," and Dan Zanes who appears on the Afro-Mexican song-and-dance medley "Tixtia."
As Mexico celebrates its 200th birthday, Sones de México is doing its part to fill a gap in educational programming.
Fred Koch writes about music every month for Chicago Parent.
See more of Fred's stories here.