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Espinoza Paz: Postcards from Sinaloa

Posted in MusicWorld on May 16, 2008 by

As both an artist and a songwriter, Espinoza Paz casts a dazzling creative light. With his songs recorded by artists including La Arrolladora, Banda El Limon, Sergio Vega, el Potro de Sinaloa, Duelo and La Autentica de Jerez, he is a valuable resource for artists in search of across-the-board hits, while his instantly recognizable vocals define him as an artist. Surrounded by traditional instruments — accordion and guitarron — his rough-hewn voice evokes the simplicity of small-town life.

His own story is much more complex. Born Isidro Chávez Espinoza in La Angostura, a town just north of Sinaloa, Mexico, by the time Paz entered his teens he had already penned over 20 songs. But it wasn’t until his father, who was working in the U.S., sent funds to purchase a guitar that Paz began his self-taught musical odyssey in earnest. Eventually, he retraced his father’s footsteps across the border to Sacramento, California. While continuing to work on his music, his days were spent in hard labor in the fields. Upon the death of his mother, Maria de la Paz Espinoza, he returned to Mexico. It was a traumatic time for Espinoza Paz, but he traveled north again, this time to Oregon, to work as a gardener until the music, and Mexico, called him back. Once again, he returned home, this time to devote himself solely to his craft.

Over eight long years, Paz performed tirelessly with regional bands, developing his songs. The regional connection paid off when Paz pitched his songs to “El Coyote,” lead singer of the popular Banda Sinaloense. It was the band’s recording of Paz’s “Besitos en el Cuello” and “Prohibido” that cemented his reputation as a hit songwriter of regional Mexican music.

In 2006, Paz met producer Martin Fabian at a wedding and Paz made his debut as an artist with Paz en tu Corazón (Peace in Your Heart), released in 2007. Also in 2007, regional Mexican giants Cuisillos launched their comeback with their 21st album, Mil Heridas, with a title track, and four additional songs, penned by Paz.

The title of Paz’s second CD, El Canta Autor del Pueblo, translates as “The songwriter of the people.” Whether performed by top-selling regional Mexican artists or by their creator, Paz’s songs, rich with everyday details and humor, are deceptively simple. Like the singer/songwriter himself, they strike a resonant chord that connects singer to song, audience to artist, and hearts to the soul of regional Mexican music.

SOURCEMusicWorld TAGS Latin Feature Espinoza Paz