Jarabe Mexicano

Jarabe Mexicano

Victoria Bottner and Olivia Hornsby


Jarabe Mexicano is a local band that visited Westlake on Monday, November 1st.  The band played for Spanish classes, as well as a few other classes.  The band played in the library first for 7th and 8th-grade classes, and then they did another two shows for 6th-grade classes in the gym.

This band includes many instruments and many vocal artists. Their voices could reach very low and high ranges and they constantly got the crowd cheering. At one point, during the songs, many students from the Spanish classes (elective two, 7th grade) got up and danced around.

The band’s website, Jarabrememexicano states, “The quintet, with its eclectic border spirit, stands out with performances by lead vocalist Gustavo Alcoser, José Martín Márquez on requinto, Kevin Lomes on vihuela, Chris Behrens with his guitarrón, and musical director Danny Brito on percussion.”

The Instruments:

The first instrument was voice. The voice was not only sung by the lead singer, Gustavo Alcoser, but also by Kevin Lomes and Chris Behrens.  Gustavo Alcoser danced around, in what looked to be a salsa style. He also used different shaking instruments and kept a pretty steady beat with clapping. He often sang notes that were interesting and intriguing to the audience.

The next instrument was the requinto. The requinto is an instrument that is like a small guitar.

From the site, Student of Guitar:

“The requinto guitar is a traditional string instrument. The name “requinto” is used to express that this is the smaller, high-pitched version of another instrument.”  This shows that this string instrument is very small because of its high pitched sound. For example, when looking at instruments in our school, you can see that because the violin is smaller it is more high pitched than an instrument such as the double bass.

The requinto is a small guitar which is not from America. Instead the requinto is from Spain and Portugal.  This instrument has been around for a really long time, since about the 18th century!

The second instrument was the vihuela. This instrument was played by Kevin Lomes.

From the Site, Maestros:

“…19th-century Mexican vihuela which has 5 strings and is typically played with Mariachi bands…” Mariachi bands are a type of band that started in Mexico. Mariachi bands started in around the 18th century, and they grew more popular afte 1930.

The next instrument was the guitarrón, which was played by Chris Behrens.

The website, Westmusic.com states:

“The sound produced by pulling the strings is loud and powerful. This instrument has a distinctive timbre quality that is warm and colorful. The large hollow body, with the convex back, enhances the lower frequencies thus producing a rich bass sound.”

The last instrument was percussion (for this concert, he was using a snare drum) which was played by Danny Brito.

From the website, Symphony.org:

“The drumheads are made of calfskin or plastic. The drumheads are held in place by metal or wood rims.”

“A snare drum is constructed of a hollow cylinder made of metal or wood, with two drumheads stretched over it—one on the top and one on the bottom.” This is so the sound bounces off of it better. A snare drum can be held up by a metal stand, like the one that Danny Brito was playing. 

Over all, the students and staff appeared happy that this band was able to come to our school and give us a taste of Latin American music. Too see more about this band go to Jarabemexicano.com