THE THREE FRIENDS FROM WHERE THE CLOUDS DESCEND
Rare instrumental tales from indigenous Mixtec tradition by musicians living in California
Los Tres Amigos De Snukivo means “the three friends from where the clouds descend.” It’s a poetic name for a mesmerizing group of musicians who play Mixtec music, music from the Oaxaca region of Mexico that at times seemed almost mythological. The band is comprised of Juan Hernandez on guitar; Alberto Lopez on violin; and Jacobo Martinez on bass. Jim Pugh from Little Village Foundation heard of Los Tres Amigos through the music grapevine and zig-zagged his way along the central coast of California to find them. As he shares, “I knew what I wanted, but I was profoundly limited in how I was going to find it. ‘Listen for the metaphor’ translator Esperanza Salazar had told me about their instrumental music. Metaphor in instrumental music? Yes! What I hadn’t realized is that these musicians don’t speak Spanish or English. It’s like a whole new world of sound.” And that’s where it all began. Los Tres Amigos Snuviko is a beautiful listening experience, because the music is a reflection of all there is to feel and learn in this world. The music has unusual tonal and rhythmic qualities that linger after a listen. These artists represent 25,000 Mixtecs who live in Santa Maria and are unknown to the larger world. Let the music be your guide.