Banda Atrakadero is a brass-based group of musicians comprised of local residents of San Pancho. The group was formed in June 2009 when Isabel Cienfuegos Polanco was approached by her son who wanted to start a banda, or a band. Since the traditional Mexican banda has a standard compliment of approximately 14 instruments, Isabel told her son that he would need many of his friends to make this happen. The next day her son returned with 17 friends that ranged in ages from 12 to 18. Isabel’s nephew, an experienced banda teacher, agreed to help the boys form the group and practice.
With time, the boys became acquainted with the instruments they had to rent to practice on. Eventually Isabel realized that rental costs were increasing, and she began holding fundraisers to buy the individual instruments they needed: trumpets, trombones, alto horns, clarinets and others. The group progressed well. A professional banda teacher, Abraham Duran from Mazatlan, soon began working with the boys 3 days a week to hone their skills, and to learn a broader range of banda music.
Today, Atrakadero proudly participates in the annual Music Festival as a much respected band that is often in demand in San Pancho and the local towns. Isabel continues to manage the group, and provides the boys her home and it’s backyard as a venue to rehearse and learn new selections. Atrakadero has become an inspiration to many of the younger children in the village, who commonly gather around the backyard as the group practices. Isabel generously accepts those that want to join and learn a particular instrument.
Atrakadero is a community symbol for all that the San Pancho Music Festival represents. Their rising popularity has allowed the group to mature and create a unique identity, making them an integral part of San Pancho’s culture, and a valuable addition to the annual Music Festival.