a film by Ricardo Braojos and Eugene Rodriguez
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An engaging bilingual one-hour documentary that follows a group of young Mexican-American musicians who join their mariachi maestro on his homecoming to Mexico. Together they perform a forgotten style of roots mariachi music and dance, and meet people who embody the spirit of old Mexico. Pasajero is a heartfelt reminder of the vital role that music plays in defining our identities.
Film website: http://www.pasajero.info
Pasajero: A Journey of Time and Memory, a one-hour documentary, is an authentic and uplifting story that follows a group of young inner-city Mexican-American musicians to Mexico where they seek a deeper meaning of its traditions.
They accompany their teacher, an elderly violinist, on his homecoming to his pueblo in Jalisco. The group tours a musical presentation of a long-forgotten style of pre-commercial mariachi in Mexico and California’s Central Valley where they meet fascinating characters that embody the spirit of old Mexico. Pasajero is a heartfelt reminder of the vital role that music plays in defining our identities.
Pasajero, A Journey of Time and Memory is the first of a series of four documentaries of The Cultures of Mexico in California Project, funded by The James Irvine Foundation. Pasajero has also received support from Cultural Contact, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, the California Arts Council and the Lef Foundation.
Julián Gonzalez was born on January 16, 1935, on a rural hacienda in Camichines, Municipality of Juchitlán, Jalisco. He plays violin, sings and dances. Maestro Gonzalez learned music from his father and the music elders of the ranch in an environment of parties that followed long harvests in the cane fields. In his youth he belonged to Mariachi Santillán and later with Real Tecolotlán. In México, he worked as a jinete, or cowboy. In 1997 he formed Mariachi Los Centenarios along with other rural musicians in order to compete in the 5th Encuentro Mundial de Mariachi in Guadalajara. They received 2nd prize in the category of traditional mariachi, which plays without trumpets, a modern addition to the mariachi that emerged in the 1950s. With Los Centenarios he recorded a cassette entitled Amapolita Morada.