Cavazos, leader of Los Paisanos, has been playing to
audiences in Southern Idaho for over ten years. With
Los Paisanos, he focuses on corridos (ballads),
rancheras, and boleros that bring instant
recognition to anyone with roots in Mexican culture.
group typically plays for community and church-related
events from weddings to company picnics. They often
play for quincineras, an important celebration
which marks a girl's fifteenth birthday and entails
a church service, a feast, and afterwards, a dance.
influenced by Juan Torres, lead vocalist for the group,
typically chooses songs which have a long history in
Mexico and reflect the regions from which their audiences
come. As Cavazos says, "What we're trying to do for
the people is to not forget the culture, forget the
traditions." At any gathering, it is inevitable that
someone from Chihuahua or Jalisco or Guanajuato will
call out for them to play the standard from their home
region. Torres has a large repertoire of songs from
throughout Mexico that he learned in his native Jalisco.
from Texas, Cavazos, started learning music as a young
boy. He formed a group when he was a teenager, but then
moved to Idaho and put down his guitar for years. In
the early 1980's, he began to play gospel songs for
the local church. His reputation grew, and along with
Torres, he was invited to play for a growing number
Cavazos arrived in Idaho in 1960, there were few Hispanics
there. "I felt real out of place, I didn't know anybody."
He learned to be part of the larger community, and over
time, the Spanish-speaking population grew.
the group says, there is a lot of Mexican music being
played in Idaho, but it is mainly Tejano or Norteno
style, not the more traditional music Los Paisanos play.
and vocalist, Mario Soto, is originally from Chihuahua.
He played in groups professionally in Mexico and then
later played electric bass for a band in Denver. He
had been in Idaho only a short time before recently
joining the group.
player, Mario Munoz, is from the State of Morelos. He
also played in Mexico, with trios and groups specializing
in romantic songs before coming to Idaho six years ago.