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Cambalache to Perform at Pomona College

Cambalache, an East L.A.-based Chicano-Jarocho group, are playing Bridges Hall of Music on October 7.

Cambalache, a popular East Los Angeles based Chicano-Jarocho group, will perform a concert of traditional music and dance at Pomona College on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 at 3 p.m. in Bridges Hall of Music (150 E. Fourth St., Claremont). This concert is free and open to the public.

Founded in 2007, this group of musicians from East L.A. plays roots music from Veracruz, Mexico — son jarocho —a style of music from the Mexican Gulf Coast, with a confluence of indigenous, African and Spanish culture.  The ensemble’s founder César Castro was featured in the Los Angeles Times for his instrument making, and NPR’s All Things Considered for one of Global Village’s picks of local favorites. According to NPR, “Son jarocho has been popular in Los Angeles, going back to the 1950s with Richie Valens, then Los Lobos. Today it's a part of the regular soundtrack of Latino music in East L.A.”

Traditional instruments of a son jarocho ensemble include jaranas (guitars that are strummed and more percussive), called guitarra de son or requinto (plucked guitars), león or leonas (a big and bassy guitar), harp, violin, marimbol, quijada (donkey or horse jaw), pandero (octagonal tambourine) and a tarima (wooden platform that is danced upon).

Band members include founder César Castro (jarana, requinto and vocal), along with Xochi Flores (zapateado, jarana and vocal), Chuy Sandoval (jarana and vocal), Alexandro Hernández (requinto and vocal) and Juan Pérez (bass).

Cambalache, which means “exchange,” is known for engaging its audiences and having them participate at concerts, whether for an educational demonstration or a concert-hall performance. Another example of their dedication to strengthening social and cultural exchange came in 2010 when they held a fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Karl in Veracruz.

This event is sponsored by the Pomona College Department of Music. For more information visit or