¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to México elegante! This blog is for everyone to enjoy, but I write especially for people like me who grew up in Canada or the United States with little knowledge about our other North American neighbour: México.
Many of us grew up with assumptions that we made unwittingly as we were fed countless stereotypes through the media. Certain things have become synonymous with México: tacos, tequila, cactuses, colourfully decorated skulls, and wrestlers à la Jack Black’s Nacho Libre, just to name a few. Certain unflattering qualities have also become synonymous, such as being poor, dangerous, and full of drugs.
México certainly has its social challenges like any country. However, it also has, and is, so much more. The goal of this blog is to make another quality synonymous with México: elegance. México has a bounty of elegant characteristics. It is gracious and generous, sophisticated and stylish, romantic and ravishing.
México elegante aims to explore this little-known side of México through the lens of music. You’ll meet a multitude of renowned artists, classic and contemporary. You’ll discover Armando Manzanera, a prolific singer/songwriter who wrote many songs well known by English-speaking audiences, including “Somos Novios,” known in English as “It’s Impossible” and made popular by such artists as Perry Como and Andrea Bocelli. And Consuelo Velázquez, the woman who wrote “Bésame Mucho,” which has been performed by countless artists around the world. Then there’s Juventino Rosas, composer of the timeless and beautiful waltz “Sobre Las Olas” or “Under the Waves.” And so very many more.
We’ll explore multiple genres, including the majesty of México’s distinctive traditional music, as well as big band, swing, jazz, classical, opera, and more. We’ll listen to songs and share playlists. We’ll focus on certain song elements and styles, perhaps occasionally a distinctive instrument. We’ll examine covers and crossovers, and moods and themes. We’ll even talk about movies now and then as many popular singers in México were also stars in México’s Golden Age of Film.
One last thing to know before we start is that you do not need to speak Spanish to be able to enjoy México elegante. Music itself is a universal language, and you’ll be able to sense its meaning each time, even without the lyrics (though those, in any language you want, are only a Google away).
And so, I invite you to join me here each week as we pull back the velvet curtain and shine the spotlight on: México elegante.
Homepage photo of the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City by Alexa Rodríguez on Unsplash