The Orchestra of Baja California & Celso Piña

One of the fascinating things about Tijuana is its way of absorbing almost anything and anyone from anywhere.

It has a long history of doing so, most recently with several thousand Haitians immigrants, who’ve crossed nine borders, coming up from Brazil, to arrive looking for U.S. asylum, which they did not get and so they stayed in Tijuana and have been melting into the city.

I’ve written a lot about the new Tijuana that has emerged in the last 10-15 years, focusing for a while on opera, which I wrote about in my second book, Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration.

More recently, I’ve written about the city’s gradual turn away from making money from migration and vice tourism and toward a higher level of entrepreneurial effort to cater to the local consumer market.

As part of all of the above, the Orchestra of Baja California — which itself has its roots in a Russian orchestra that was imported to the city in 1992 with help from Eduardo Garcia Barrios, the group’s conductor for many years — this week put out an album backing accordionist Celso Piña.

Piña, born in Mexico, has made a career of playing Mexican norteño and tropical cumbias from Colombia.

The orchestra, now under the direction of Armando Pesquiera, held three concerts with Piña. Give a listen …

 

1 Comment

Filed under Border, Culture, Mexico

One Response to The Orchestra of Baja California & Celso Piña

  1. This is crazy awesome! The mix of the classical with the cumbia is seamless, hence the enthusiastic audience response. TJ is constantly reinventing itself. Thanks Sam for documenting the social and artistic vibe that’s evolving down there! I love it.

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