Sones de Mexico celebrates the Mexican Revolution at the House of Blues

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Artwork by Hector Duarte

Mexico marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the Mexican Revolution this Saturday, Nov. 20. And in Chicago there will be a celebratory concert at the House of Blues.

The event is being co-produced by the Old Town School of Folk Music and Chicago's Sones de Mexico Ensemble with the support of the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago.

In 2010, Mexico also is celebrating the bicentennial of start of the War of Independence against Spain.

"It's very important that the Mexican community take these historic dates to remember our past and what has brought us to the Mexico of today," said Beatriz Margain Charles, cultural attache with the Mexican Consulate in Chicago. "It's a way to bring the culture of Mexico to the community through music."

Sones de Mexico also is releasing a new CD Saturday called "¡Viva la Revolución!"

Some of the songs have a political subtext, such as "Juan sin Tierra,"  a song that talks about landless Juan, representing the people who fought for land rights during the Revolution.

"The promise of the Revolution has not been fulfilled even after 100 years. That's why the revolution is considered a process. It's ongoing," said Juan Díes, producer and CEO of Sones de Mexico.

Band member, Lorena Iñiguez, agreed. She also said that struggle continues for the Mexican community in the United States.

"We have so many immigrants here that also are fighting for their rights as workers," she said.

The struggle, past and present, is important to the local Mexican community.

"Some of the first Mexican immigrants in Chicago came fleeing the Mexican Revolution," Díes explained.

Beyond the political struggle, the Mexican Revolution also propelled Mexican artists, writers and musicians to create their own national cultural identity. Before that the country as a whole had turned more towards Europe.

"It was a passage in the maturity of a culture and a nation," Díes said.

That legacy will be on display during the "¡Revolución Centennial Concert." In addition to Sones de Mexico, there will be many guest artists and performers, including Alejandro Flores from the Mexican rock band Cafe Tacvba, Trío Ollin from Mexico City, poet Guillermo Velázquez as well as mariachis and folkloric dancers.

"It's going to be really fun and very entertaining," Díes said.

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