Savoring la Música de Veracruz

African- and Caribbean-influenced music fills the streets in this port city; the son Jarocho ("Veracruz sound"), centered on strings and percussion, is a regional variation of Mexican sones. To get a sampling of all the types of music in Veracruz, join the crowds swirling about the zócalo (main plaza). Inevitably, strolling mariachis and teams on marimbas (wooden xylophones) will be performing for people in the cafés. But for romance, nothing compares to the bands playing late into the night in Parque Zamora. Men blot their brows with crisp handkerchiefs, and women wave fans they had hidden in their bosoms. Everyone is willing to suffer the heat for the spirit of the danzón, the sultry dance brought to Mexico in 1879 by Cubans.

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