Director Jarana Beat
“A true master of his craft. A pioneer at the forefront of knowledge and a fountain of creativity in the world of Afro-Amerindian and Mexican music.“ -George Saenz, director of Calpulli Mexican Dance Company and band member of Jarana Beat and Lila Downs.
The Mexican musicologist, producer, composer, and artistic director, Sinuhé Padilla- Isunza [Si-noo-eh Pa-dee-yah], has been responsible for leading multiple compelling artistic and social projects around the world. His initiative champions traditional and contemporary Afro-Amerindian music and culture from Central and South America, but his true passion is rooted in his love for Mexico, Nahuatl cosmogony, sacred Aztec music and dance. Sinuhé’s journey as a performing multi-instrumentalist has allowed him to share the stage and tour with Grammy Award winning artists like LILA DOWNS.
As Founder of JARANA RECORDS, a production company and record label in New York City, Sinuhé has released numerous productions for different independent artists like Sonia de los Santos, Adela y Lupita, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, Mireya Ramos, Shae Fiol, ILana Martin, Johanna Rodriguez, Mario Espinoza, Veronica Valerio, Sonando Sur, Bilingual Birdies, and Jarana Beat. He has also produced outstanding up-and-coming artists like Grammy winners/nominees John Benitez and Mariachi Flor de Toloache.
Among his greatest accomplishments is the direction of several musical quests including JARANA BEAT, winner of Best Folk Contemporary Band at the Mexican Music Awards 2015 and recognition by the City of New York for his contribution to Latin culture in the same year. For years his band has aimed to share the relatively scarce spread folk sounds of Mexico and has become a training ground for many musicians in New York City looking to learn and break into the Afro-Amerindian Mexican music scene.
Sinuhé’s journey in championing and strengthening the Mexican music scene in New York has lead him to direct projects like México Beyond Mariachi, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, Bilingual Birdies, to name a few. This path has resulted in such opportunities as music writer and producer for National Geographic Mundo (Firmes), Storyhunter TV, and The United Nations; and as lecturer in conferences and Master Classes for The New School University, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics (NYU), Berklee College of Music, Dutchess Community College, New Mexico State University, and the CUNY Graduate Center of the City University of New York.