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Songs of the past: Grandmother & her grandson share their culture through music

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Those bouncy songs called rancheras have been central to Lenore Armijo’s cultural upbringing.

“They’ve been in my ears since I was born,” Armijo said.

She and her grandson Xazziel Martinez will be playing them and other musical styles on Sunday, Sept. 1 at the Eight Two 1 space.

Some of the rancheras Armijo said the audience can expect to hear are “Las Mañanitas, “Puño de Tierra” and “Cielito Lindo.”

“As a singer I usually play by myself. I’ve been on every stage in Albuquerque,” Armijo said.

She figures she’s been performing for about 30 years or more.

But whenever Armijo gets a chance, she plays guitar and sings with her grandson.


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In Sunday’s concert, she said, she’ll sing and play guitar as a soloist, as well as perform duets with her guitar-playing grandson.

Martinez also will have an opportunity to shine. Armijo said he’ll be presenting some of his own songs and perhaps covers of Tom Waits and The Eagles.

Armijo, a native of northern New Mexico, said she’s also carved out a career for herself as a film actor. Her first film, “Storyteller,” was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, she said.

Armijo and Martinez won’t be the only ones on stage. They’ll be joined by Scott Mathis on guitarron and mandolin and Juan Lucero on rhythm guitar and requinto.

The event is part of the Walk the Walk Traditional Music Concert Series.