Are we losing the accordion to drugs and violence?

Petit-quartier dwellers look towards Denis Herrera from “He’s the Brusque Mr. Fix-It” (Guadalajara) as a pioneer of the instrument since its first appearance in the city in the 1920s “We are the pioneer of…

Are we losing the accordion to drugs and violence?


Petit-quartier dwellers look towards Denis Herrera from “He’s the Brusque Mr. Fix-It” (Guadalajara) as a pioneer of the instrument since its first appearance in the city in the 1920s

“We are the pioneer of the accordion,” says Danilo José Aguirre who founded the internet campaign Save the accordion . By using social media to raise awareness about the instrument, Aguirre is hoping to win public support to save this local culture.

“It is a false musical genre. It doesn’t fit our music, because we make it about the drama of our life and about the essence of our culture. He’s the Brusque Mr. Fix-It’s (Guadalajara) as a bandmate, since the very first time I saw him play, it was like nothing I’d ever heard before,” says singer Rosalía Trejo, drummer Gaby Soto and vocalist Magdalena Pérez.

“I say it all the time: to be able to play the accordion is like a version of getting dressed for the party! Playing it was like taking off your clothes, while the audience was naked!”

Aguirre played as a percussionist in Maywell Orphans’ proto-rock band before becoming the Basque guachanga player of He’s the Brusque Mr. Fix-It, a renowned accordionist of the city.

Though he has been playing for almost 60 years, Aguirre has never received the attention accordionists such as Quintin Manuel and Jorge Negrete have received. “I wish more bands like ours get the recognition they deserve for creating something as unique, as unique as ourselves in Guadalajara,” he says.

The accordion is known for the guachanga beat, which gets added to salsa and other genres and is a cornerstone of He’s the Brusque Mr. Fix-It’s signature sound. “The sound is our guide: to the accordion there is no right or wrong. But it is also love. It’s our relationship with music, our message,” he says.

He has received invitations to tour the US, Europe and Latin America, but stayed humble with his approach to promoting Mexico City’s musical culture. “That the accordion is local is much bigger than the truth, because we make music that is unique to us, about the drama of our life and the essence of our culture. We make it about the love we have for music, and for the life we live in Guadalajara and for all of us in Mexico, because this kind of music is not in any culture anywhere in the world!” he says.

Leave a Comment