National Geographic : 1996 Aug
Alfonso. "So they come back. At least here they always have a job." And they have their music. Of all Veracruz's cosmopolitan influences-food laced with Italian spices, healing practices from Africa, sensual dances from Cuba-it is music that speaks to the souls of the state's 6.7 million people. Beneath sun-drenched palm trees, trios of string musicians rouse listeners with elson jarocho, a blend of styles from around the world that has become the typical music of Veracruz. Between numbers and rounds of beer and boiled shrimp-dueling marimba bands launch into ear-busting renditions of "Veracruz," the unofficial state r anthem by native son Agustin Lara. "For Veracruzanos," says veteran marimba player Matias Montejo, "music is the highest thing."