The Music

As a deeply multicultural city, Los Angeles brought Mexican artists and audiences into contact with other subcultures. Whether it was the mainstream popular culture of the big bands or the jump blues coming out of South Los Angeles’ African American clubs, the city’s cultural diversity left a strong imprint on the music that Mexicans produced in Los Angeles from the 1930s onward. With homegrown styles like Latin swing, pachuco boogie, and Chicano rock and roll, LA was the heart of California Mexican music in the middle of the century.


Rafael Méndez

Don Tosti

Dueto Azteca

Hermanas Padilla

Nati Cano

Lalo Guerrero

Thee Midniters

These artists defined the sound of Mexican music in California during the heyday of the regional labels. In the process, many became icons. To the next generation, they left a heritage of both musical tradition and creativity which would keep Mexican music in California evolving through the postwar decades.