Straight From the Heart

Portraits of Traditional Hispanic Musicians (University of New Mexico Press)


In 1983, the writer and musicologist Jack Loeffler collaborated with Jack Parsons on a documentary film. "La Música de los Viejitos (Music of the Old Ones)" was made for and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

After getting to know so many of its subjects, Parsons created his own testimony to them. He embarked on this series of informal portraits, aided by the Entriega Project, which was then recording traditional New Mexican wedding songs.

Complemented by writer Jim Sagel’s text 'Pasión y Tradición: Los Músicos del Pueblo', they take us back into the human histoy of the Hispanic Rio Grande del Norte. Parsons’ pictures here go right to the core of lived traditions. They make the traditions visible; not only by dress and demeanor of the músicos’ but through the intimacy of very personal locations.

The result is a bouquet of portraits almost suspended in time. It gives us a rare and wonderful glimpse of men and women as certain about their musical vocations as about their their culture.

Click here to buy your own copy now.


back to Atelier homepage