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Meet Francisco Gonzalez of Conjunto Tenocelomeh in San Fernando Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Francisco Gonzalez.

Francisco, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Conjunto Tenocelomeh started as a student ensemble out of CSU-Northridge in 1995. The ensemble has performed at various venues such as The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, the Harriet and the Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex, UCLA’s Royce Hall, and the Wadsworth Theatre. We have also performed at the prestigious “Encuentro de Jaraneros” in Tlacotalpan, Veracruz, as well as many other community events throughout the county. The ensemble are also the primary organizers of the California non-profit Encuentro de Jaraneros de California (EDJ-CA) who since 2002 have produced an annual festival at various venues throughout Southern California, such as the historic Plazita Olvera, Plaza Mexico, The LA Plaza, and The Floricanto Center for the Performing Arts.

During this time, our festival has become the largest Son Jarocho gathering in the United States and we have showcased many of California and Veracruz’s finest jarocho ensembles and ballet folkloricos. We are committed to preserving the folk music and dance traditions of southern Veracruz, its members have traveled abroad and studied with masters in Mexican folk music. One of only a handful of such groups found in Southern California, the members of CONJUNTO TENOCELOMEH are professional musicians and educators who have wholeheartedly decided to concentrate, preserve, and perform the beautiful folk music and dance traditions of the SON JAROCHO and the SON MEXICANO.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The ensemble members all have their professional careers (a middle school music teacher, High School teacher, Professor in history, and a dentist) yet continue to perform as we see this as a vital part of our contribution to our community. Members have left for a few years to finish their studies abroad in Mexico and Europe, yet the ensemble has endured.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
We are one of the few ensembles that has decided to focus on preserving this beautiful folk music known as the son jarocho. In the 25 years of the ensembles existence, we have never lost focus on the son jarocho. While we can perform other genres, THIS has remained our primary focus.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
NO luck. Sheer rehearsal and professionalism.

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