WATSONVILLE — Popular Mexican music group Banda el Recodo will make a stop in Watsonville at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds this weekend, as part of their “80 Años de Musica Entre Amigos” tour.
First formed by clarinetist Cruz Lizárraga in 1938 in Mazatlán, in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, the band, officially named Banda Sinaloense el Recodo de Don Cruz Lizarraga, has been going strong ever since with an ever-evolving lineup of musicians.
The group specializes in banda, a style of music from Mexico featuring various wind instruments, primarily brass and percussion. Banda el Recodo has been instrumental in forming and popularizing the genre over its 80 years.
“They are pretty much the mother of all bandas,” said Tony Valencia, who works year-round to bring musical acts to the fairgrounds. “They’ve been in this industry for so long and really do have the best sound.”
The group still remains a family affair. Lizárraga, who died of cancer in 1995, still has family members in the band, including sons Luis Alfonso Lizárraga and Joel David Lizárraga.
Banda el Recodo are nine-time Latin Grammy Award winners and five-time Billboard Award winners, and have been nominated for the American Grammy Awards as well. They are often credited as the first Mexican banda to have performed in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. They were also the first to perform at the White House in 2004.
The band’s performance at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, 2601 East Lake Ave. in Watsonville, will be held on Sunday from 4-11 p.m. Opening acts include Los Parras and local talent Willy Martin. Then Banda el Recodo will take the stage for a straight two-hour set.
“It’s a much smaller venue for them,” Valencia said. “Instead of 18,000 capacity it’s more like 1,800. It’s a chance to seem them in a more intimate, less expensive way.”
Tickets to Sunday’s show are $50 (including service fees) for general admission. Children under 10 years old are free. To order, visit ticketon.com or call 1-800-668-8080.
For information, visit Banda el Recodo’s official Facebook page.