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Ensemble History: Music of Mexico Ensemble

The Music of Mexico Ensemble, originally called “Uclatlán,” was formed in 1961 by graduate student Donald Borcherdt. During the 1964-65 academic year, the course Music 45J/145J (Music and Dance of Mexico) was offered for the first time by Borcherdt. From 1977-79 the class ceased to exist. From 1980 to 1989, Steve Loza, who was first a graduate student and later became a faculty member, directed the class. He reformated the group to include not only the music of Mexico but also Caribbean and South American styles, with a focus on salsa, and the group became known as "Uclatino."  Nati Cano was hired to direct the ensemble in 1989, and it returned to the mariachi format. Instructors of the Music of Mexico Ensemble include: Jesus Sanchez (1968-75); graduate students Don Borcherdt, Mark Fogelquist, and Dan Sheehy; Steve Loza (1980-89); Nati Cano (1989-00); Jesus Guzman (2000 to the present). For more information go to Music of Mexico Ensemble. See also Mariachi de Uclatlán 50th Anniversary Celebration.

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Donn Borcherdt playing the guitarrón
Photo: Courtesy Ethnomusicology Archive
Music of México Ensemble
Photo: Courtesy Ethnomusicology Archive
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Music of México Ensemble
Photo: Courtesy Ethnomusicology Archive
Music of México Ensemble
Photo: Courtesy Ethnomusicology Archive
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Uclatlán (1970s)
Photo: Courtesy Dan Sheehy
Uclatlán (1970s)
Photo: Courtesy Dan Sheehy
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Uclatlán (1975)
Photo: Courtesy Dan Sheehy
Uclatlán (1970s)
Photo: Courtesy Dan Sheehy

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From Nuestro November 1982: "UCLATINO, UCLA's student salsa band, has become
a popular item at campus dances and rallies. The group's professional sound has won it
playing dates around Los Angeles, too. Graduate student, Steve Loza (far right), of South
San Gabriel, California is the group's leader/founder."

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Music of México Ensemble (1999)
Photo: Unknown
Nati Cano
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Music of México Ensemble with Jesus Guzman (2006)
Photo: Todd Cheney
Music of México Ensemble with the Herrera Brothers (2006) Photo: Todd Cheney
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Music of México Ensemble at the Hammer Museum
with Jesus Guzman (2006) Photo: Romeo Guzman
Mariachi de Uclatlán (2010)
Photo: Romeo Guzman
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Music of México Ensemble (2010)
Photo: Romeo Guzman
Music of México Ensemble (2010)
Photo: Romeo Guzman

 

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