7 ‘bandas’ formed in Sonoma County with Mexican influence

Ricardo Ibarra
Written by Ricardo Ibarra

The Latino community in Sonoma County is diverse, and so is its music. The regional Mexican music in Sonoma County is mainly focused on Sinaloan music also known as banda, coming from the state of Sinaloa and characterized by its variety of songs such as rancheros, boleros and cumbias.

With the arrival of more Mexican immigrants to this region of Northern California in recent years, the sounds of wind bands, sierreño or norteño style have also created an echo through these valleys and hills.

Following is a list of musical groups that Sonoma County has seen come up in the last few years, the majority of whom are influenced by the melodies and rhythms that flow from parties in those forever green mountains of Sinaloa, in the northwestern region of Mexico.

And now, break out the Aguachile!


This is a complete banda with drums and metals, Sinaloa style. Although their 15 members originate from the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Jalisco, Oaxaca and Zacatecas, they arose  in Sonoma and have a practice studio located near Sebastopol Road, in southwest Santa Rosa. They play their own music, as well as others. Their sound has taken them to neighboring counties, as well as cities like Los Angeles, in southern California. They have a demo, with some of their own compositions. Below is one of them: ‘Con Un Grito’. Contact them via Facebook or by telephone at 707- 343-5297.


Interpreting what has ultimately been called sierreño style, also known as campirano, and emerging from Sinaloa. Their catalogue is much more versatile, not only including popular corridos, “to offer a genre that is more cheerful”, said Miguel Cruz, member of the  group. Their band members came together in Santa Rosa in November of 2016. Like other groups, they play covers live and also unreleased music, like ‘Disfruto La Vida’ seen below. Find them on Facebook or at 707-540-4725.


Also adopting the style sierreño or campirano, a genre that highlights the use of electro acoustic guitar, the requinto guitar and electric bass, whicht it’s three members play. Their name derives from the fact that they are all bearded, said vocalist and 12 string guitar player, Brayan Martínez. Their origins stem from the city of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, where they used to be called Los Miguelitos, as a nod to one of the pioneers of the genre, Miguel y Miguel. From Santa Rosa, they’ve taken their music to Washington, Sacramento, Ukiah and San Rafael. They can be located at 707-710-1876.


This is norteño music, also with Sinaloan and northern Mexican origins. Included in their repertoire are cumbias, as corridos. The majority of band members are brothers and cousins hailing from Oaxaca, with exception to the vocalist, who is from Michoacán. They mostly play private events. Their five members are based in Rohnert Park and have played together since 2015. Find them on Facebook or at 707-228-3932.


The influence of Sinaloa and Monterrey is marked in their norteño music. They reinterpret old norteño classics, like Ramón Ayala, to more modern songs. The four current members, all residents of the Roseland district, in southest Santa Rosa, have a production with original music called Tecalitlán, although they principally play covers live. Active since 2014, they have opened for bands such as Los Tucanes de Tijuana, Banda Rancho Viejo, Banda MS and others. Follow them on Facebook or contact by phone at 707-393-1752.


There are in total 17 members that make up this band of Sinaloan sound. Performing together since 2009, they have an album called ‘Abriendo Caminos’. Their collection includes románticas, rancheras, sones and ballads, all in the banda style. Contact them on Facebook or at 707-583-6406.


Another band of the Sinaloan style formed in Santa Rosa, Tamborazo Santo Domingo. They can be found on Facebook, or at 707-228-3932.

Translated to English by La Prensa Sonoma intern, Mayra Lopez.

Contact the editor of La Prensa Sonoma, Ricardo Ibarra, by telephone at 707-526-8501 or by email at:ricardo.ibarra@pressdemocrat.com. OnTwitter @ ricardoibarra.

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