Cinco de Mayo: a holiday that many enjoy celebrating, yet not all know the full story behind. Celebrating the Mexican Army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, the day honors the spirit of the smaller Mexican group’s triumph over a larger force. Today, Cinco de Mayo is marked by historical reenactments, festivals, and plenty of delicious cuisine.

This Cinco de Mayo, we wanted to celebrate the history of Mexico and our talented artists who either hail from that diverse section of the world or who have depicted it through song.

Al Combate off of the Navona Records album of the same name, takes listeners back in time before even Cinco de Mayo occurred. Highlighting 18th-century colonial Mexico’s composers, the title piece represents the largest piece of secular music that has survived the past 300+ years to present day.

Coming into the present day: as composer and guitarist Giovanni Piacentini’s biography states“Born in Mexico City to an Italian doctor, an opera lover, and a Mexican figurative painter, he was exposed to a wide array of artistic expressions that helped shape his musical vision.” Piacentini’s “musical vision” is clearly translated through his compelling guitar performances, including on his latest album, BETWEEN WORLDS.

The late Marie Nelson Bennett, although not a native of Mexico, honored the history and landscape of this diverse nation in “Tulum,” the third movement of her piece Shorelines. The piece musically depicts the view from ancient Mayan cliffs down to the expansive ocean waters in east Mexico.

From these to Mexican composer Edgar Barroso’s richly textured and innovative album IMMERSION, ABSORPTION, CONNECTION., José Elizondo’s energetic orchestral works on OF BIRDS AND LEMONS, and much more, we hope that Classically Cinco de Mayo will leave you inspired to learn more about the music, culture, and rich history of Mexico.