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Los Cenzontles in Concert at UC Merced

March 12, 2018

Los Cenzontles (The Mockingbirds), an award-winning band heavily influenced by Mexican folk music, is coming to UC Merced on March 14 for a free concert and a music workshop.

Both events are free and open to all. The workshop takes place at 2 p.m. in the Crescent Arch Room, and the concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Lakireddy Auditorium. To make sure there is space in the workshops for everyone, register online at

“It is a thrill to know that these soulful voices are bringing their music and spirit to UC Merced. Los Cenzontles have performed with well-known musicians from around the world, and now bring the world to our stage,” Sierra Nevada Research Institute Executive Director Armando Quintero said.

Los Cenzontles was founded in 1989 by Eugene Rodriguez as part of a California Arts Council artist residency. The goal of the Los Cenzontles Project was to create a place for Bay Area youth to learn traditional Mexican music and dance. As students advanced, the original Los Cenzontles touring group was formed to showcase Mexican folk music and focus on educational outreach.  

The band’s influences include regional folk music such as traditional mariachi and banda, Son Jarocho and son abajeno de Jalisco, Michoacán, pirekuas, rancheras, norteno, corridos, cumbia, boleros, and also country music and rock and roll.

“Hosting this concert is part of UC Merced’s core commitment to engaging the community through the humanities and arts,” said Christina Lux, associate director of the Center for the Humanities, which is sponsoring this concert thanks to an anonymous gift for public programs.

The band's core members were trained at Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center in San Pablo, a nonprofit academy that trains aspiring young artists and promotes tradition and cultural pride. The center has more than 150 students, and band members continue their educational outreach efforts in addition to their recording and performance commitments.

To learn more about Center for the Humanities programs, visit the center online at