In its humble beginnings, in the mid 40's the banda was only hired as entertainment in local bars or — as with Zacatecas' Tamborazo — to lead a drinking party down the streets of the port of Mazatlán. The exhilirating ambiance created by the thundering ensemble soon became Sinaloa's favorite. By taking Don Lizárraga's banda de viento into recording studios this banda style won incredible acceptance in the entire country. Aside from typical ranchero songs and sones, the repertoire of a banda embraces all imaginable rhythms including the mambo, and even 1960's rock and roll.
The costume is also recent, as the dance forms, but based on turn-of-the-century fashions. Its fabrication goes from very simple printed calico ruffled blouse and skirt, topped with a hat, to muslin dresses painted with regional symbols. The main dance style, as indicated by all modern research of this Pacific area, is inspired by the Jalisco sones. Although many variations have been included, reflecting the integration old popular tunes and songs from the 60's Mexican hit parade into the banda Sinaloense repertoire.
The port of Mazatlán is the scene of an annual Carnival that is a local version of Mardi Gras, and includes all types of dancing, singing and revelry. For the concluding number of the Company's Sinaloa set, José Luis Ovalle reproduces a carnival to the sounds of a mambo, a rhythm of Cuban origin that was created and popularized by Don Damasco Pérez Prado in Mexico City, in the late 1940's. ◊ © José Luis Ovalle