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Talento Local - Vol. 1 Biographies

Meet some of the most talented Hispanic folk musicians in Taos County New Mexico.

Frank Gusdorf

Frank has always been proud of being able to sing, especially Hispanic songs. “I was proud to sing with the late Ramon Hernandez and Antonio Mendoza, two of the best guitarists to hit Taos, until Lorenzo Martin “Marty” Martinez came around.”

In 1972 Frank recorded Gema and El Aguacero with Mariachi Tenampa. In later years, Frank and his wife Dorothy served as sponsors for Taos High School’s Mariachi Tigre. He has participated with the St. Francis choirs and currently with Billy Archuleta’s choir at Our Lady of Guadalupe.

It was exciting to see how well and professionally the High School students performed. He finally decided to take up learning guitar and while still trying, he enjoys playing and singing rancheras, and corridos and participating in the Mariachi Corazon del Valle at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado. Frank still attends mariachi conferences to learn different songs and methods of music. Each method of music helps the song tell its story. These methods include rancheras, boleros, sones and huapangos.

Special thanks to his wife Dorotea Velarde-Gusdorf for her support and to Marty Martinez and Nick Branchal for allowing me to sing with them on several occasions. Gracias a todos. 

Thelma Trujillo-Montez

Thelma Trujillo-Montez was born and raised in Taos, New Mexico. Throughout her life she has been surrounded by music. Her love and appreciation for music has been influenced by many, including her father Ernest “Largo” Trujillo and her grandfather the late Eliu (Leo) Cardenas. She has a passion for singing and enjoys all types of music. Although she has never sang professionally, she has performed in talent shows, competitions, entriegas, church choir, and just for fun. Thelma’s mother Gloria has always encouraged her to sing and is her biggest fan. The same passion and appreciation for music is shared by her sons Ronald Jr. and Jacob.

Fred Anglada

Fred Anglada, born in 1931, and, at 78 years of age, is the godfather of and oldest participant in Talento Local – Volume 1. He received his first guitar in 1939 and was self taught. Later he started playing guitar in junior high school with Mr. Medina’s Spanish Club. In the 1950’s he played with a group known as Joey Vee and the Flirts, from Penasco, NM. Later he played trumpet with Latin Express and Banda de Oro. The last group he played with was Mariachi Rio Grande. He has attended Mariachi school in Tucson, Arizona, Albuquerque and Las Cruces, New Mexico. He has studied with some of the best trumpet players in the world. He plays guitar, trumpet, piano and organ. Music has always been a major part of his life.

Jose Richard Romero

At the church that he used to attend Jose Richard Romero started singing at the age of four. He learned that his voice could move people to tap their toes, dance, and sing along. He has always been willing to sing in front of an audience. He has sung entriegas for weddings and if there is a microphone or a receptive audience he has always been the one to sing a song. The older songs of our culture have always been a favorite and nothing gives him greater pleasure than to change the dull atmosphere of any gathering into a dance or happy sing-along.

Adonais (Nayte) & Daphne Marquez

Adonais and Daphne are brother and sister and are both of the musically-inclined Marquez family from Arroyo Seco NM, the same family that gave us El Grupo Mezcal for which Adonais is the keyboardist. Their parents are the late Gabriel and Antonia Marquez from Arroyo Seco (Des Montes), NM. As kids, both Adonais and Daphne were always into singing and playing music and were greatly influenced by the great Mexican artist and composer Cornelio Reyna, whose composition “Que Tristeza” is their contribution to Talento Local – Volume 1.

Adonais and Daphne dedicate this song to their family and friends and to all the listeners of great New Mexico Hispano Music that make our state and culture as special as it is today!

Special thanks to Lorenzo Martin Martinez for allowing us to partake in this great musical compilation.

Jose Rudolfo "Rudy" Dominguez

Jose Rudolfo (Rudy) Dominguez was born and raised in the small community of Chamisal, located in the mountains of Northern New Mexico. He was 72 years old when he recorded Serenta Huasteca on the Talento Local – Volume 1 compact disc! In his early years, while attending grade school, Rudy developed a fondness for music. His school teacher gave him pocket change for singing Spanish songs in front of the class. He is mostly intrigued with Spanish styles of music - Boleros, Huapangos, and Rancheras. He believes these styles are an integral part of the Hispanic cultural heritage. “Through music we can express our deepest feelings whether it be joy or sorrow. God gave us this wonderful instrument, our vocal chords, to express ourselves”. 

While working abroad in many different countries, Rudy discovered that we all have one thing in common - the love of music. After retiring, Rudy returned to his hometown of Chamisal, his “pueblo mas querido”, to be with his friends and to play and enjoy the music he loves most. 

Jose Leon Trujillo

Jose Leon Trujillo was born and raised in San Cristobal, New Mexico. His music was inspired by Jenny Vincent who loaned him a Gene Autry guitar and wrote the words and chords for “Por Ningún Motivo”. Another inspiration was Jose’s uncle Ruben (Boots) Trujillo from whom he learned “El Río Grande.” Uncle Boot’s son, Archie, fortunately had his song book which had the words. Throughout his lifetime, Jose’ has had the good fortune of Larry Vincent’s friendship and common love for Hispanic music and, together, they have performed since their childhoods and still do to this day.

Lawrence "Larry" Vincent

Lawrence (Larry) Vincent was born and raised in San Cristobal, New Mexico, USA. He started playing the violin with his grandfather Harry L. Wells, changed to the mandolin inspired by Cleofes Vigil, who taught him “El Venadito.” He later changed to guitar through the influence of his friends Herbert Medina and Alex González of Arroyo Hondo, NM. All the time Larry had his music teacher, Jenny Vincent, his mother and nationally-acclaimed folk musician and historian, right at home! Larry’s guitar style reflects his South American experience, mostly in Venezuela. Together with his longtime musical compadre and neighbor, Jose Leon Trujillo, they have sung and accompanied the beautiful rancheras since the 1960’s, and are still going strong!

Arcenio "Archie" Trujillo & "Boots"

La musica, y mas especial la preciosa guitarra, have always been in the blood. Coming from his “jefito,” Ruben “Boots” Trujillo, a lover of the music and was always available to accommodate his friends and family with his talent. As a young man Archie loved being around his father during his parties and learning to play so that, when el jefito was no longer in the capacity to continue, due to las copitas, Archie would take over as accompanist.

In reality “Boots” always wanted Archie to play the trombone but his guitar was more convenient. It was in this environment and through personal tutoring that playing and singing were learned. His primo Jose Leon Trujillo from San Cristobal played with his friend Larry Vincent. Archie remembers making pilgrimages across the monte along “El Camino Leñero” to go to see them practice and see where they put their fingers on the guitar to produce all those wonderful sounds. 

Around 1962-63 a friend of Archie’s scored on a set of drums so that the next step was to start a band (a trend set by those four guys from England) and the idea brought together everyone who had a guitar in Arroyo Hondo and San Cristobal. Some local talent, like J.C. “Jessie” Chacon, Donicio “Nicho” Martinez, and Ronnie Vigil (who also played sax) had a little more skill with the flat top box and we taught each other what we knew. In short the band included anyone who could keep time with tambourines or maracas or could sing. They were able to play the dance joints from Arroyo Hondo to San Luis and eventually the band whittled down to only those who truly wanted to continue to advance in the music. 

In the early 1970’s, Arcenio moved to Colorado and had to quit the band but continued to play with his father and jam with his friends, always picking up new ideas. Today his playing is done primarily in the church choir along with long-time hero Jose Leon and jamming at parties or get-togethers but always loving the sound and finding that his jefito’s influence and style has never left. A mocoso, entremetido little runt, Lorenzo Martin “Marty” Martinez, always hung around, (sometimes having to be “shooed out” of band practices by older brother Nicho) and, in the end, became the best musician of us all! Archie would like to express many thanks to Martin for being an inspiration.

Lorenzo "Queso" Bailon

As a child, Lorenzo began his music career learning guitar and Spanish music from his mother Bertha Ortiz. His singing and performance was for family and friends in the neighborhood of Questa, NM. In 1970, Lorenzo was hired as the drummer for Rudy’s Western Band in Red River, NM. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Lorenzo joined Joe Gallegos and the Unknowns singing and performing as drummer, bassist and lead singer. He now performs with local musicians and bands in the local Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado areas.

Jaime C. Martinez

At Taos High School, Jaime was the principal vihuelista for Mariachi El Tigre for three years. While attending the University of New Mexico main campus in Albuquerque, he received double Bacherlor Of Arts degrees in Spanish and Music. Jaime also studied the Spanish and Flamenco guitar under Maestro Pedro Cuadra for over three years. Jaime has studied with master vihuelistas Roberto Martinez of Mariachi Cobre, Victor “El Pato” Cardenas of Mariachi Vargas and Javier Jauregui of Mariachi Sol de Mexico. Never forgetting where his musical career began Jaime has continuously played with various mariachis in Albuquerque and Taos during and since he graduated from High School. His personal endeavors in the music world still place his interests to "La Musica Del Caribe" and Brazilian "Samba é Bossa Nova". "Each genre of music I study speaks to a different part of my soul and getting closer to my soul helps me discover my true sound/vibration." Jaime currently plays Flamenco guitar throughout New Mexico.

Lorenzo Martin Martinez

Lorenzo Martin “Marty” Martinez’ first musical influence was his mother Ida Segura-Martinez who, while doing her housework, sang the show tunes she had learned from her experience working for the Howell’s at the Taos Plaza Theatre in her youth. Also impacting and stirring his musical interests was Hit Parade, a variety musical black-and-white television program. Next on the cue, Rosanna Anaya, his first-grade teacher, Carolina Dominguez, second grade, and Josefina Martinez, third- and fourth-grade teacher all had a profound and lasting influence in his musical development, singing American folk and patriotic songs on a daily basis, most of which he still remembers “by heart.” Mrs. Dominguez taught him “Cielito Lindo” and “(Alla En) El Rancho Grande.”

Lorenzo Martin started playing guitar in 1962 when is oldest brother, Gabriel Andres, came home from basic training at Fort Smith, Camp Chafee, Arkansas, with a five-dollar guitar. He picked up the guitar and played “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” on the first string, figured out how very simple it was to find the pitches to (almost) any melody, on any instrument, and the rest is history!

Lorenzo Martin started with American folk music, learning Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary songs by the dozen. He played, probably, the first “Folk Mass” with Arsenio Cordova’s choir at Our Lady of Guadalupe, in 1964, and continued to play in church until 1990 when he resigned from his “job” as choir director.

One day, his father, the late Onesimo “O.G.” Martinez, Jr. came home with two LP albums chucked full of romantic boleros, Hello Amigos, by the Ames Brothers, and Usted, by Los Tres Diamantes, a gift from Tia Teodora Montaner de Martinez, and opened up the big beautiful world of Latin music. After hearing the jazz chord progressions in the Latin music, it was not difficult to abandon “three-chord” folk music. Lorenzo then latched on to the folk music of Mexico, the ranchera, which is a cross between Country and American folk music, but in Spanish.

In 1969, Lorenzo Martin flunked out of the University of New Mexico, got drafted and sent to Vietnam, where he spent all of 1971. Although he flunked out, he did acquire incredible knowledge of the guitar and Latin music. In 1970, while attending advanced infantry training at Fort Ord, CA, he kept a guitar in his locker and serenaded his platoon to sleep at night with beautiful instrumental Spanish guitar.

In 1983, Martin was released on vinyl LP. Lorenzo Martin was not to record again until, as their guitarronista, Mariachi Rio Grande came out with its own album on cassette, Tesoros de Mariachi Para Nuevo Mejico. Except for working as a “(recording) session player,” Lorenzo Martin did not do any serious recording until December 2004 at the request of his spiritual teacher Satgurudev Sat-Anandaji. After having recorded four albums for Mountain Institute, he “got the fever” once again, and that is how the idea for Talento Local – Volume 1, was born in 2008.

The Talento Local series is a way of giving back, acknowledging local vocalists and about making (recording) dreams come true. At least 10 of the 13 singers in Talento Local – Volume 1, would never have gone into the recording studio to “cut a record” in this lifetime. It is, greatly, about doing what your love and doing what you are good at. As a result, some of the participants in Volume 1 are already planning to do their very own albums, and, are ready to participate in Volume 3!