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Lecture: “Indigenous Music Traditions from the Huasteca region, Mexico”

April 11 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Dr. Raquel Paraiso

Presented by: Dr. Raquel Paraíso, a researcher, musician, and educator

About the presentation: Located in northeastern Mexico, the Huasteca region occupies a territory that crosses over six different Mexican states. Several indigenous groups share this multicultural, plurilinguistic, and multiethnic area where they live alongside the mestizo population. Huasteca people observe a complex ceremonial calendar linked to religious and agricultural events, and maintain specific rituals connected to those events. In such celebrations, music—known under the generic term of sones—and dance are conceived as an essential part of the festivity. In this talk, I will present different expressions of son indígena from the Huasteca region and talk about the central role music plays within the celebration as it is not only considered integral to the sacred and secular aspects of life, but transformative: it mediates communication between humans and deities.

About the presenter: Raquel Paraíso, a researcher, musician, and educator earned a B.A. in violin performance from the Conservatory of Music in Salamanca, Spain. She holds a Master’s in Violin Performance, a Master’s in Ethnomusicology, and a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her areas of interest focus on cultural politics of music and music production of place, identity, and ethnicity in Latin American music at large and Mexican music in particular. Her current research in traditional music from the Mexican Huasteca region examines issues of rituality, symbolism, embodiment, and sound in contemporary gendered, globalized, and transnational scenarios. Her research and field recordings have been published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge Scholars, and Penguin Random House, as well as El Colegio de Michoacán, the National Institute of Anthropology (INAH) and Revista de Literaturas Populares (UNAM). She has presented her work at numerous national and international academic conferences for both academic audience and the general public. In her serie of podcast Músicos tradicionales de México/Traditional musicians from México (Spotify & Raquel’s YouTube channel), Raquel explores new ways to talk about music and musicians while experimenting with expressive ways to write about the topic. Versatile as a musician and scholar, she teaches at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla and is actively involved with the practice and performance of Latin American music the group Sotavento.

Please note that while this lecture will be given live, you can also attend via Zoom. REGISTER FOR ZOOM LINK


April 11
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Room 206 Ingraham Hall
1155 Observatory Drive
Madison, 53706 United States
(608) 262-2811