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Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Las Americas


Miguel Prado Mora founded Arpex, a conjunto de arpa grande (big harp ensemble) in Atwater, California, in the 1990s. A predecessor of the Mexican mariachi ensemble, the conjunto de arpa grande has its roots in the towns and ranches of rural Michoacán. Arpex performs for weddings, quinceañeras, festivals, and other social events in the michoacano communities in the region. To create a bigger sound for larger venues, Arpex transforms the acoustic group into an electronic one by adding a drum set, electric bass, and direct microphones for the other instruments.

  • Miguel "El Pollo" Prado Mora, arpa grande
  • Arnoldo "Chino" Galván Segura, violin
  • Román Isabel "El Coyote" Ramos Gómez, guitarra de golpe
  • Javier Valdovinos Acevedo, vocals
  • Rafael Valdovinos Acevedo, vocals
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Arpex demonstrates the tamboreo in conjunto de arpa grande.

¡Tierra Caliente!
Music from the Hotlands of Michoacán by Conjunto de Arpa Grande Arpex