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Itinerant musicians from Veracruz were a highlight of dinner

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Itinerant musicians from Veracruz were a highlight of dinner
The statue of the Virgin of Solitude is carried to the water in preparation for the annual pilgrimage.

Wary of street musicians who enter restaurants, regale diners with a few tunes and ask for some cash in return? In Puerto Escondido, and probably anywhere else, you have good reason to be. They’re not always good and paying them to go away is often the best option.

We were sitting at Al Dente, the Italian place near the lower end of the Rinconada, when a six-piece band showed up. That many people would surely make a bit of noise with their guitars, soprano sax and percussion instruments.

We would have no choice but to stop talking and listen.

Well we listened, all right. It wasn’t so loud that we could not have carried on talking but we didn’t want to. These guys were great. According to their Facebook page they’ve been playing since 2019 and it showed. They were tight.

La Cachimba is six young musicians from Xalapa, Veracruz, touring Oaxaca and playing a distinctive style of cumbia, a musical style I first heard in Peru when I was a teenager and have loved ever since.

They played three songs, passed the hat around and left for the next venue before doing a gig at Hostal Shalom. Next stop on their tour was Mazunte.

Dinner was very good but the music was a highlight. Next time a band shows up while dining out I won’t be quite so wary.

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