The Western Folklife Center Documents Corridos

Elko band Pablo y su VentarronDuring the 2008 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Western Folklife Center highlighted Mexican ranching traditions through an exhibit and programs. In 2007, we traveled across the western U.S. to perform fieldwork, documenting and interviewing corrido musicians. By highlighting the importance and relevance of corridos in the West, the Folklife Center hoped to educate the public about this tradition and the stories they reveal, and to encourage their composition and performance. Two Gran Concurso de Corrido corrido  events - featuring contests and workshops - were held this summer, in Nampa, Idaho and Woodburn, Oregon. Each showcased more than a dozen corrido musicians and their work, both individuals and groups.

Randal C. Archibold of the New York Times has published an article and audio slide show about the Western Folklife Center corridos fieldwork on the New York Times website: click here to see Mr. Archibold's work. Luciana Lopez, staff writer to The Oregonian, also wrote about the Woodburn Oregon corridos contest. Click here to read more about the fieldwork.

Click here to watch corrido videos on our YouTube Channel, and on the Western Folklife Center podcast, Ranch Rhymes , click on the podcast title to listen to Corrido de los Latinos Unidos, Working for Dollars, and Sangre de Indio.


Click here to read about Woodburn, Oregon, August 25, 2007;  Click here to read about Nampa, Idaho, July 14, 2007.

In addition to documenting the corrido tradition in the West, the Western Folklife Center also interviewed Mexicans from rural ranch backgrounds living in the western U.S., with folklorist Juan Díes.

These programs were made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.