Video Premiere–El Corrido de Anza

We are excited to announce that Los Cenzontles has completed an ambitious project with support from the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS sought to promote an understanding and appreciation of the story and legacy of the Juan Bautista de Anza expedition, and the National Historic Trail commemorating that expedition, through music and film.

The nearly 10-minute corrido (traditional Mexican narrative ballad), written by Los Cenzontles founder and Executive Director, Eugene Rodriguez, and lyricist Gilberto Gutierrez Silva, consists of 45, four-line stanzas, that tell in gripping expressive detail an historically-accurate, inspiring portrait of the Anza expedition from its start in Mexico’s Sonoran Desert to its final destination, the founding of the San Francisco Presidio. The challenging piece was recorded by the Los Cenzontles Touring Group, including the vocal duo of Lucina Rodriguez and Fabiola Trujillo, with violinist Shira Kammen, and harpist Leonel Mendoza.

For the video, Lucina and Fabiola accompanied filmmaker Armando Aparicio to regional stops along the entire 1,200 mile stretch of the Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Trail, capturing remarkable images of the natural wonders and historic Spanish missions and presidios interspersed along the trail. The video also features map images and place names that orient the viewer and depict the route taken by Anza and nearly 300 men, women, and children of diverse cultural origins.

You can watch the video here (please click the “CC” button at the lower-right of the screen for English subtitles.):

El Corrido de Anza, released on April 8th, will be a valuable educational tool for the Park Service, and anyone interested in teaching and learning about this decisive historical moment for California, particularly its diverse population and broad cultural resources.

Eugene writes, “With this song and film we hope to engage Latinos, and everyone, in our rich shared history.”

The song’s traditional Mexican instrumentation and corrido style lend themselves to the recounting of this historic event, as does the traditional Mexican dress worn by Lucina and Fabiola in the video. Expressing appreciation for the historically apt nature of the music, Superintendent with the National Parks Service Naomi Torres writes, “We’re so pleased with our partnership with Los Cenzontles and to be able to share the story of the expedition in this traditional musical form.”

The musicians who performed on the recording are as follows:

Lucina Rodriguez: vocals
Fabiola Trujillo: vocals
Shira Kammen: violin
Eugene Rodriguez: vihuela, guitarra de golpe
Leonel Mendoza Acevedo; harp
Emiliano Rodriguez: bass