Frontera Collection ¡En Vivo! / September 29, 2022

Artist Spotlight: Pedro J. González

  Rumbo a California

This month’s Frontera Collection ¡En Vivo! we present and highlight our new online exhibition, Rumbo a California: Making Mexican Music in the Golden State, which examines the rich history of how record labels documented music, and social issues in California over the last 100 years.

Rumbo a California uses music, photos, videos and downloadable song sheets to chronicle aspects of Mexican music and social life in twentieth-century California. From the earliest musical entrepreneurs of Los Angeles to the prolific output of the independent labels, the exhibit highlights how Mexican musicians in California have influenced the evolution of mariachis, documented working class struggles, and pursued social change through song. The exhibit showcases how these artists have blended Mexican musical traditions with a creative energy that is distinctly Californian.

We will examine the life of Pedro J. Gonzalez, leader of Los Madrugadores and political activist who was sentenced to prison on trumped up rape charges! Come and have a listen to Pedro J. Gonzalez’ contributions to California’s musical landscape.

When/Cuando: Thursday/September 29, 2022 at 6-8 pm PST

Where/Donde: Arhoolie Foundation YouTube Channel

Who/Quien: Frontera Collection Curator – Juan Antonio Cuéllar


Statement on the passing of Chris Strachwitz

Arhoolie Records Founder
July 1, 1931 – May 5, 2023

We celebrate the life of our founder, friend, and great record man Chris Strachwitz. He died peacefully at home in Marin County, CA, surrounded in his last days by dear friends and family. Over his 91 years, Chris captured the music that represents the best “down home music” the world has to offer.

He was at the forefront of nearly all the roots revivals over the last 60 years including blues, zydeco, Cajun, Norteño and Tejano music. His drive to document traditional music helped introduce the nation to our diverse musical heritage. He had the foresight to save music that might have otherwise been lost to obscurity and played a role in strengthening cultural traditions through his records, films, and most recently the Arhoolie Foundation. He cared for those around him, fought for royalties and recognition for Arhoolie artists, and provided counsel to countless musicians, writers, film makers, and academics.

Plans for a public celebration of his life will be announced in the coming weeks. Today we’re thinking of all that Chris brought to our lives and the lives of the musicians and fans with whom he shared his passion.