Founder and 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/nominated artists like Lila Downs, Residente, Ana Tijoux, Mariana Carrizo, Jorge Glem, John Benitez, Flor de Toloache, Nella Rojas, Luis Quintero y Sonia de los Santos.
As Founder of JARANA RECORDS, a production company and recording studio in New York City, Sinuhé has produced numerous albums and singles for different independent artists like Sonia De Los Santos, Los Pleneros de la 21, Alea, Mireya Ramos, Shae Fiol, ILana Martin, Verónica Valerio, Bilingual Birdies, and Jarana Beat. He has also produced outstanding up-and-coming artists like Grammy winners/nominees John Benitez and Mireya Ramos of Mariachi Flor de Toloache. He has also written original music for musical theatre shows like Fandango for Mariposas and Coyotes (En Garde Arts) and Sugar Skull (Rhythm for the Arts and Mexico Beyond Mariachi).
Among his greatest accomplishments is the direction of several musical quests including JARANA BEAT, two-time nominee for the Independent Music Awards for Best Word-beat Song and Best Animated Short Video and winner of Best Folk Contemporary Band at the Mexican Music Awards in 2015. The band was also recognized by the City of New York for their 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 led him to direct projects like México Beyond Mariachi, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, Bilingual Birdies, to name a few. In 2020 his song “Mi Cariño Por Ti” was licensed by the documentary series “Taco Chronicles” produced by Netflix. This path has resulted in such opportunities as music writer and producer for National Geographic, “Firmes” by Mundo, 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.
Sinuhé lives currently in New York where he has dedicated his life to the diffusion and education of traditional mexican culture and music like the “Fandango Jarocho”, becoming a bridge between traditional artists from Mexico and the new Mexican Jaranero communities in the city. In 2011 he founded the “Encuentro de Jaraneros de Nueva York” (Encounter for Jaraneros of New York), an annual event running in its10th year, that has allowed him to record some of the most representative artists of this art form like: Joel Cruz and Benito Cortez (Los Cojolites), Claudio Naranjos Vega and Raquel Palacios Vega (Los Vega), Andrés Flores, Rubí Oseguera, Laura Rebolloso, Fernando Guadarrama, Alexis Díaz Pimienta, Violeta Romero (Caña Dulce Caña Brava) and members of the group Mono Blanco, among many others. His dedication within Son Jarocho culture and other Mexican traditions has positioned him as a reference in New York and in other cities of the United States, Canada, Spain and Central and South America.