Resource Guides

Michelle Hernández Abeyta

Michelle Abeyta

Michelle Hernández Abeyta began her musical career as a singer at the age of fourteen in Pueblo, CO.  At age 17, she represented the Latino community as Colorado State Fair Fiesta Queen.  She traveled to Puebla, Mexico in 1982 as Cultural Ambassadress of Pueblo, CO, representing her community in their sister city, Puebla.  

Michelle is well known throughout Colorado and New Mexico for her contributions in preserving the folk music of the region.  She excels in the mastery of various styles of music, such as Mariachi, Classical, Liturgical, Children’s and Country.  Her work as a folk artist is recorded in the Smithsonian Archives and she has received various awards and recognitions.  Michelle was nominated in 2008 by the National Endowment for the Arts for the National Treasure Award.  Her greatest honor was to perform for Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day in 1993 in Denver.  She was the recipient of the “Premio Hilos Culturales – Traditional Folk Artist Award” in 2010. 

Michelle continues to entertain audiences in Spanish and in English throughout the United States.  She has produced two significant culturally inspired recordings during her career; Palomita Mensajera and …Con Sabor A Latino America.  She was recognized in Enduring Legacies, An Anthology of Ethnic Histories and Cultures of Colorado.


García, Peter J.  Ay Que Lindo Es Colorado:  Chicana Musical Performance From the Colorado Borderlands.  Enduring Legacies:  Ethnic Histories and Cultures of Colorado.  Edited by Arturo Aldama. Boulder: The University Press of Colorado, 2011.

Molina, Ruben.  Chicano Soul: Recordings & History of an American Culture.  La Puente, CA: Mictlan Publishing, 2007.

Ronstadt, Linda.  Canciones de mi Padre.  Secaucus, NJ: Warner Bros. Publications Inc., 1988.

Smith, Craig. Sing My Whole Life Long: Jenny Vincent’s Life in Folk Music and Activism. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2007.


Charles J. Aguilar

Charles has been the lead musician for Los Matachines de Bernalillo, NM, for the past fifty years at Las Fiestas de San Lorenzo.  His role as leadviolinist includes providing the main tune for each of nine different lengthy melodies that comprise the dance-drama, “Los Matachines.”  He has teamed with local musicians for the past five decades to provide the melodies for Los Matachines at numerous religious and secular events throughout New Mexico.  Charles has traveled to Washington, D.C.  on numerous occasions to perform with Los Matachines de Bernalillo and to play la música de los viejitos.

Locally, he has participated in religious feast rituals in his neighboring communities, dedicated to the planting cycles of crops, beginning every spring on May 15, for El Día de San Isidro, the patron saint of farmers. Charles is known throughout his community as the rezador (prayer leader) at wake services and as procession leader at the Pueblos of Sandia and Santa Ana. Charles received the “Premio Hilos Culturales – Traditional Folk Artist Award” in2012. 

He served as former Mayor of Bernalillo for 12 years and most recently, Charles served as Probate Judge of Sandoval County.  A career educator/administrator with Bernalillo Public Schools, Charles is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.


Gandert, Miguel. Nuevo México Profundo: Rituals of an Indo-Hispano Homeland. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico, 2000.

Rodriquez, Sylvia. The Matachines Dance: Ritual Symbolism and Interethnic Relations in the Upper Río Grande Valley. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996.

Rodriguez, Sylvia. The Upper Río Grande Matachines Dance:  From Matachines! Essays for the 2008 Gathering. Edited by Claude Stephenson.  Santa Fe: New Mexico Arts, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, 2008.

Stephenson, Claude. Matachines! Essays for the 2008 Gathering. New Mexico Arts, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. Santa Fe, 2008.

Torres, Larry.  Los Matachines Desenmascarados: An historical interpretation of the ancient dance-drama.  Six Nuevomexicano Folk Dramas for Advent Season.  Edited by G. Padilla, E. Gonzales-Berry and A. Meléndez. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 1999.


Rosalía de Aragón

Rosalia de Aragon

Many say they have heard the unforgettable, spine-chilling cry of La Llorona, the Wailing Woman, as she wanders searching for her children.  Many also can say they have met her through actor/singer Rosalía de Aragón, who has portrayed La Llorona for over 14 years.  Traveling throughout the state of New Mexico, she has performed at museums, fiestas, schools and other community events.  She is once again taking the ghost and her other presentations;  Music and Dance of the Southwest, Drama and Storytelling of the Southwest, and Rosalía and Don Gato, to the Smithsonian Institution and Washington D.C. schools in April, 2016.

Besides bringing to life the traditional Hispanic ghost tale of La Llorona, Rosalía also reminds the audience of the value of traditional dances, music and the use of stories in various cultures as an educational tool.  Unlike a traditional play, she breaks the barrier between the actor and audience.  Audience members are invited to participate to help bring the story to life.

De Aragón teaches music at a Catholic School in Albuquerque and is currently a graduate student at the University of New Mexico where she incorporates the arts into education and specifically, Special Education.  She began her acting studies in Musical Theater at the College of Santa Fe and completed the intensive acting program at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood.  Rosalía is very active in the film community in New Mexico and has advocated encouraging directors to include more women and Latinos in productions.  Her experience in numerous theatrical productions, commercials and films also includes roles in; Frontera, Bless Me, Ultima, and A Thief of Time.  As a vocalist, she has recorded a CD entitled, Canto De La Llorona and recently wrote a book called La Llorona (A Cuéntame Un Cuento Bilingual Book). 


Anaya, Rudolfo. The Legend of La Llorona: A Short Novel. Berkeley: Tonatiuh-Quinto Sol International, 1984.

Aragón, Ray John de. Enchanted Legends And Lore of New Mexico:  Witches, Ghosts & Spirits. Charleston: The History Press, 2012.

Aragón, Ray John de. The Legend of La Llorona.  Santa Fe: Sunstone Press, 2006.

Aragón, Rosalía de. La Llorona: A Cuéntame Un Cuento Bilingual Book. Albuquerque: Event Horizon Press, 2015.

Rael, Juan B. Cuentos Españoles de Colorado y Nuevo México/Spanish Tales from Colorado and New Mexico. 2 vols. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1957.

Ulibarri, Sabine R. Tierra Amarilla: Stories of New Mexico/Cuentos de Nuevo México. Pasó por Aquí Series. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 19


Benjamín Baca

Benjamin Baca

Benjamín Baca, born in Las Vegas, NM, was one of eleven children.  His family later moved to Santa Fe where he attended public school.  After serving in the U.S. Military, Benjamín graduated from St. Michael’s College in Santa Fe and later the University of New Mexico where he received his graduate degree.  As an educator and administrator in Santa Fe Public Schools for over 25 years, Benjamín also directed the regional Special Olympics.

Benjamín and his wife, Deluvine, have been active members of the local dance group, La Sociedad Colonial Española de Santa Fe – otherwise known as Los Coloniales.  Their mission is focused on preserving Los Bailes Antiguos, social dances that were commonly danced throughout the region of Nueva España and later, Mexico, and continue to be popular today.  

Los Coloniales began reintroducing these dance traditions and to the present day, they have performed at fairs, festivals, public schools and countless other special occasions.  A major milestone came with an invitation to perform abroad in Santa Fe de La Vega, Los Palacios and Madrid, Spain. 

 In 2010, Benjamín was recognized for his leadership role as President of Los Coloniales de Santa Fe during the past 15 years by being nominated and receiving the “Premio Hilos Culturales – Traditional Folk Artist Award” in 2010.


Lea, Aurora Lucero-White. Folk-Dances of the Spanish-Colonials of New Mexico. Santa Fe: Examiner Publishing, 1940. 

Leoffler, Jack.  La Música de los Viejitos: Hispano Folk Music of the Río Grande del Norte.  Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1999.

Montaño, Mary.  Tradiciones Nuevo Mexicanas: Hispano Arts and Culture of New Mexico.   Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2001.

Sedillo, Mela. Mexican and New Mexican Folkdances. 2nd ed. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1938.


Charles M. Carrillo, Ph.D.

Charles M. Carrillo

A Santero artist, Charles has studied and researched the carving tools and styles, pigment and varnish preparations, traditional iconography, and paint styles of the 8th century Santero masters of New Mexico.  He is a renowned wood carver and painter of retablos (a painted devotional panel) and reredos (alter screens.)  He is the author of Saints of the Pueblos, an exploration of the connections between Hispanic and Pueblo cultures, which is also a touring exhibit presently being shown at the Indian Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

Charles lives in Santa Fe and is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, in Anthropology/Archaeology.  He is the recipient of the “National Endowment of the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in Folk and Traditional Arts” and the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Spanish Colonial Arts Society of Santa Fe, New Mexico. 


Awalt, Barbe and Rhetts Paul. Charlie Carrillo: Tradition & Soul/Tradición y Alma. Albuquerque: LPD Press, 1994.

Carrillo, Charles M. Saints of the Pueblos. Albuquerque: LPD Press, 2004

Cash, Marie Romero. Santos: Enduring Images of Northern New Mexico Village Churches.  Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 1999.

Esquibel, José Antonio & Carrillo, Charles M. A Tapestry of Kinship: The web of influence among Escultores and Carpinteros in the parish of Santa Fe, 1790-1860. Albuquerque: LPD Press, 2004.

Gavin, Robin Farwell. Traditional Arts of Spanish New Mexico: The Hispanic Heritage Wing at the Museum of International Folk Art. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1994.

Padilla, Carmella. CONEXIONES: Connections In Spanish Colonial Art. Santa Fe: Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, Spanish Colonial Arts Society, 2002.

Salvador, Mari Lyn C. Cuando Hablan Los Santos: Contemporary Santero Traditions From Northern New Mexico. Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Albuquerque: Albuquerque Printing Company, 1995.

Steele, Thomas J. Santos and Saints: The Religious Folk Art of Hispanic New Mexico. Santa Fe: Ancient City Press, 1974.


Debbie Trujillo Carrillo

Debbie Carrillo

Debbie Trujillo Carrillo, originally from Abiquiú, New Mexico, studied under Felipe Ortega, master potter of Hispanic and Jicarilla descent.  She is recognized as an accomplished potter of micaceous clay.  Most recently, Debbie was Spanish Market’s recipient of the 2014 Master’s Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society of New Mexico.

For over twenty years, Debbie has worked with micaceous clay which contains a high concentration of a sparkled mineral known as mica.  Her early attempts to form her clay cookware and learn the firing technique were rewarded in 1992.  Debbie became the first person to jury into Santa Fe’s annual Spanish Market with micaceous pottery. 


Carrillo, Charles M. Hispanic New Mexican Pottery: Evidence of Craft Specialization 1790-1890. Albuquerque: LPD Press, 1997.

Trimble, Stephen. Talking With The Clay: The Art of Pueblo Pottery in the 21st Century. Santa Fe: School For Advanced Research Press, 2007.


Gregorio Gonzales, (Genízaro)

Gregorio Gonzales (Genízaro)

Gregorio Gonzales is a member of the Genízaro community, Los Comanches de la Serna de Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico.  Gregorio has engaged academic and non-academic communities alike in recognizing and appreciating the unique histories, legacies, and continued experiences of Genízaro communities throughout northern New Mexico.  His work as a graduate student focuses on the historical and contemporary representations of Genízaro Indigeneity in the United States and the Southwest.

Gregorio holds degrees from New Mexico State and the University of New Mexico.  He is presently a doctoral candidate in Social and Borderlands Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.  Most recently, Gregorio was selected for an academic appointment through the Smithsonian Minority Awards Program as a visiting student at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. 


Blackhawk, Ned. Violence Over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006.

Brooks, James. Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

Lamadrid, Enrique. Hermanitos Comanchitos: Indo-Hispano Rituals of Captivity and Redemption. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003.

Rael-Gálvez, Estevan. Identifying Captivity and Capturing Identity: Narratives of American Indian Slavery, Colorado and New Mexico, 1776-1934. PhD Dissertation, University of Michigan, 2002.


Enrique R. Lamadrid, Ph.D.

Enrique Lamadrid

Enrique Lamadrid is a highly recognized Literary Folklorist, Cultural Historian and author.  He is editor of the Querencias Series of the University of New Mexico Press in Albuquerque, NM.  He has worked on curatorial teams for a number of national and international exhibits and festivals, including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.  Enrique also led the design team for the Camino Real International Heritage Center in southern New Mexico and other community cultural and museum collaborations, for which he has been recognized as recipient of the Américo Paredes Prize. 

His literary expertise includes folk music, poetry, drama and cultural studies.  Enrique collaborated with Rudolfo Anaya on several children’s books prior to publishing his own; La Acequia de Juan del Oso and Amadito and the Hero Children of the Vaccine, published by University of New Mexico Press.  Also noteworthy was the American Folklore Society’s recognition of Enrique’s ethnography, “Hermanitos Comanchitos”: Indo-Hispano Rituals of Captivity and Redemption, with the prestigious Chicago Folklore Prize.

As Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Spanish from the University of New Mexico, Enrique continues writing, performing as Humanities Council Chautauquan and preparing documentation for a UNESCO nomination of the acequia tradition in New Mexico and Colorado for world intangible cultural heritage designation.  Enrique is a graduate of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. 


Aldama, Arturo. Enduring Legacies: Ethnic Histories and Cultures of Colorado. With Elisa Facio, Darly Maeda, and Reiland Rabaka Associate Editors. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2011.

Lea, Aurora Lucero-White. Literary Folklore of the Hispanic Southwest. San Antonio: Naylor, 1953.

Otero, Rosalie D., Meléndez A. Gabriel and Lamadrid, Enrique R. Santa Fe Nativa: A Collection of Nuevomexicano Writings. Pasó Por Aquí Series on the Nuevomexicano Literary Heritage. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2009.

Sagel, Jim. Straight from the Heart: Portraits of Traditional Hispanic Musicians. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1990.

Villagrá, Gaspar Pérez. Historia de la Nueva México, 1610. Edited by M. Encinias, A. Rodriguez and J.P. Sánchez. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1992.


Larry Torres

Larry Torres

Larry Torres, a native of Arroyo Seco, NM, has been a teacher of Spanish, Russian, French, English, Latin, Linguistics, Bilingual Education and Southwest Studies at the University of New Mexico, Taos.  A noted New Mexico educator, Larry, after receiving many local, regional and state honors, came to national prominence in 1992 when he was awarded “National Outstanding Foreign Language Teacher of the Year” at the Annual Disney Salutes The American Teacher Awards program in Los Angeles, CA.  He is currently Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Cultures at the University of New Mexico in Taos.

Highly recognized for his expertise in culture and the folklore of New Mexico, Larry has written extensively and authored Las Posadas; Los Moros y Los Cristianos; Las Cuatro Apariciones de Guadalupe; Los Pastores; Los Tres Reyes Magos and Los Matachines Desenmascarados.  He has been an actor with the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities’ Chautauqua Program, successfully completed many years of impersonating Jean Baptiste Lamy, first Archbishop of Santa Fe; the persona of conquistador Don Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and of Civil Rights activist Reyes López Tijerina.  Larry is also the co-founder for the Governor’s School for International Studies in Memphis, Tennessee.

Larry has been inducted into Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society for Excellence in Teaching and also received the “Excellence in Teaching Award” sponsored by the Southwest Coalition of Language Teachers; the “National Educator Award” sponsored by the Milken Family Foundation and is the recipient of the “Camino Real Award” as one of fifteen distinguished New Mexico educators.  Larry is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. 


Moore, Michael. Los Remedios de la Gente: A Compilation of Traditional New Mexican Herbal Medicines and Their Use. Santa Fe: Self-Published, 1977.

Rael, Juan B. Cuentos Españoles de Colorado y Nuevo México. New York: Orno Press, 1977

Torres, Larry. Six Nuevomexicano Folk Dramas for Advent Season. Edited by G. Padilla, E. Gonzales-Berry and A. Meléndez. Pasó  Por Aquí Series. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1999.


Irvin and Lisa Trujillo

Irvin and Lisa.jpg

Irvin and Lisa Trujillo are both innovators and masters of the New Mexican weaving tradition.  In 1980, they, along with Irvin’s father, Jacobo Trujillo, founded the Centinela Traditional Arts Studio to advance the traditions in Chimayó, their northern New Mexico community.  Together, Irvin and Lisa are known for their rendition of classical weaving as well as contemporary designs.  They use traditional hand-spun and naturally dyed wool; Irvin combines wool and silk, Lisa designs complex pieces expressing herself in her weaving, pursuing creative ideas and exploring work in other traditional styles.

Irvin began learning traditional Río Grande and Chimayó weaving styles from his father at the age of ten.  He started by dying yarn with natural dyes, and soon started weaving and spinning.  A seventh generation weaver, he designs and builds his own looms.  Irvin has been recognized as both an innovator and master of the New Mexican Weaving Tradition.

Lisa has continued to weave finer, more complex and larger pieces in the Saltillo style, using her own handspun and natural dyed yarns.  Her ability to apply creative expressions within the tradition of Río Grande weaving, Lisa is exceptional; weaving family, business and volunteer commitments, managing each project to artistic excellence.  In 1999, she co-authored, with Mary Terence McKay, The Centinela Weavers of Chimayó: Unfolding Traditions.

In 2007, Irvin was the recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship in Folk and Traditional Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Irvin continues to pave the way for weaving into the 21st century.  He and Lisa are both graduates of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.


Chávez, Nicolasa. A Century of Masters: The NEA National Heritage Fellows of New Mexico. Los Ranchos: Río Grande Books, 2009.

Davis, Kathryn. Woven Across Time: The Rich Legacy of Colorado’s Hispanic Textile Tradition. From: Colorado Heritage. Colorado Historical Society, Issue 3. Edited by Judith L. Gamble. Denver, 1988.

McKay, Mary Terence and Trujillo, Lisa. The Centinela Weavers of Chimayó: Unfolding Tradition. Chimayó:  Centinela Traditional Arts, 1999.

Oviedo, Patricia Trujillo. Chimayó: Images of America. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2012.

Pettit, Michael. Artists of New Mexico Traditions: The National Heritage Fellows. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 2012.

Slaney, Deborah C. Wonders of the Weavers/Maravillas de Los Tejadores: Ninteenth-Century Río Grande Weavings from the Collection of the Albuquerque Museum. Albuquerque: The Albuquerque Museum, 2005.


Lorenzo A. Trujillo, Ed.D., J.D.

Lorenzo Trujillo of Westminster, Colorado, is a violinist, guitarist and vocalist.  He is the director of the Southwest Musicians, a musical ensemble that originated with family members and today has expanded to include contributing community musicians.  This group, under Lorenzo’s direction, has played an important role in performing regional folk and popular music spanning in popularity in Indo-Hispano communities of New Mexico and Colorado over the past two centuries with links to Iberian, and Spanish and Mexican colonial era folklore in the Americas.

An award winning folk musician and Colorado “Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts” recipient, Lorenzo’s recordings highlight the musical traditions of Colorado and New Mexico.  They include;  A Musical Banquet: From Santa Fe to Denver; The Golden Age of the Southwest: From 1840 to Hollywood, amongst others, recording alongside mentors, his Aunt Eva Nuánez, violinist, and Filbert Trujillo, father and guitarist.

A founding member of the Chicano Music Hall of Fame in Denver, Lorenzo maintains a high degree of involvement as a folklorist, arts administrator and Musical Director of the Mariachi Ensemble program at Metropolitan State University of Denver.  Author of Enduring Legacies:  Ethnic Histories and Cultures of Colorado, Lorenzo details the origins and practice of regional customs and the role music has played within families and communities along the upper Río Grande of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

Lorenzo is Former Assistant Dean and Professor of Law at the University Of Colorado School Of Law,  and currently maintains his law practice in downtown Denver.  He is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder, San Francisco State University and the University Of Colorado School Of Law, Boulder.  In 2004, Lorenzo received the “Premio Hilos Culturales – Traditional Folk Artist Award.” 


Aldama, Arturo. Enduring Legacies: Ethnic Histories and Cultures of Colorado. With Elisa Facio, Daryl Maeda, and Reiland Rabaka Associate Editors. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2011.

Robb, John Donald. Hispanic Folk Music of New Mexico and the Southwest: A Self-Portrait of a People. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980 and Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2014.

Trujillo, Marie Oralia Durán. Autumn Memories: Our New Mexican Roots and Traditions. Pueblo: El Escritorio, 1999.


Arnold Valdez

Arnold Valdez resides on a ranch near his birthplace on the eastern outskirts of San Luis, the oldest town in the state of Colorado.  Here, he plants bolita and anasazi beans, peas, calabacitas, corn and potatoes; irrigating the same farm land where his ancestors farmed for five generations.  Arnold’s early interest in building, design and cultural landscapes led him to the study of architecture and historic preservation planning.

His passion and creativity led him to study architecture at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, where he received the John Gaw Meem Award for his thesis on Hispano Vernacular Architecture.  That was followed by a Loeb Fellowship of Advanced Environmental Studies at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

As Principle of Valdez and Associates, Arnold has collaborated on a design for a high altitude adobe village and spearheaded several construction projects of the mission churches for the local Sangre de Cristo Parish, including a design of a local environmental education center, and the co-design and construction supervisor of a domed adobe chapel (La Capilla de Todos Los Santos) which sits on the San Pedro Mesa overlooking the town of San Luis.  He has also conducted cultural landscape research and an architectural survey of the Hispano enclaves of Costilla and Conejos County of southern Colorado.

As an award-winning community planner, Arnold has undertaken an inventory of historic architecture, cultural sites and historic overlay for the New Mexico Office of Historic Preservation designing a comprehensive community plan for Chimayó’s valley in Santa Fe County.  He is a graduate from the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, where he continues as Adjunct Professor.


Rivera, José. Acequia Culture. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998.

Tushar, Olibama López. The People of “El Valle:” A History of the Spanish Colonials in the San Luis Valley. Self Published, 1975. Pueblo: El Escritorio, 1992, 1997.

Valdez, Arnold A. Hispanic Vernacular Architecture and Settlement Patterns of the Culebra River Villages of Southern Colorado 1850 – 1950. Albuquerque: Thesis, University of New Mexico, 1992.

Valdez, Arnold A. and Valdez, María Mondragón.  La Capilla de Todos Los Santos: Sangre De Cristo Parish Shrine. San Luis: Sangre de Cristo Parish, 1997.


Cipriano F. Vigil, Ph.D.

Cipriano Vigil of El Rito, New Mexico has researched, performed and recorded the ritual and traditional music of New Mexico that dates back to the early 17th century.  An Ethnomusicologist, Cipriano has been invited to perform at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.  He has also performed with his son Cipriano Jr. and daughter Felícita, La Familia Vigil, a musical trio, for the past twenty years. 

Cipriano has recorded and transcribed a vast collection of regional folk music since the 1960’s.  Growing up in Chamisal, New Mexico, he took great interest and care in collecting the music, stories and rituals that filled his formative years.  He attributes several individual who through their encouragement and mentorship, helped expand his knowledge and appreciation of the cultural life around him.  These individuals include a neighbor, Leonardo “Lalo” Pacheco, who lent him his first guitar; also Luz López, who is amongst the most celebrated musicians of northern New Mexico.  He later learned from other masters, including the greatly respected violinist, Cleofes Ortiz, and his own father, Rubén Vigil, each one adding to Cipriano’s accumulating repertoire attained through aural transmission.

His recordings include; Cipriano Vigil y Su Familia, La Familia Vigil and Los Folkloristas de Nuevo Mexico, all recorded on Discos Catalina.  Fifty years of his life’s work collections are published in his “long awaited” panoramic book, New Mexican Folk Music/Cancionero del Folklor Nuevomexicano: Treasures of a People/El Tesoro Del Pueblo.  Cipriano was the recipient of “Premio Hilos Culturales – Traditional Folk Artist Award”  in 2004.

Cipriano is Professor Emeritus of Northern New Mexico Community College, now Northern New Mexico College in Española, New Mexico.  He is a graduate of New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, his post graduate work is from El Centro Nigromante, Mexico, D.F. and Kennedy-Western University, San Diego, in Ethnomusicology.


Campa, Arthur B. Spanish Folk Songs in the Southwest. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Bulletin (Modern Language Series) 4, 1, 1933.

Lamadrid, Enrique R. Tesoros del Espirito: A Portrait in Sound of Hispanic New Mexico. Embudo: El Norte/Academia Publishing, 1994.

Loeffler, Jack. With Loeffler, Katherine and Lamadrid, Enrique R. La Musica de los Viejitos: Hispano Folk Music of the Río Grande del Norte. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1999.

Vigil, Cipriano Frederico. New Mexican Folk Music/Cancionero del Folklor Nuevamexicano: Treasures of a People/El Tesoro Del Pueblo. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2014.


Angel Vigil

Angel Vigil

Angel Vigil of Denver, Colorado, is an award winning author, accomplished performer, stage director and educator.  He is a Colorado Heritage Artist storyteller who has performed throughout the United States as a featured storyteller at national festivals, universities, schools and art centers.  His specialty is the genre of lyrical and oral traditions of the Hispanic Southwest.  Angel has authored six award winning books on such topics as Hispanic and Western culture and the arts.  His book, The Corn Woman, and Other Stories and Legends from the Hispanic Southwest, received the prestigious New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age National Award.

His early childhood recollections of family gatherings at his grandparents ranch in Springer, New Mexico, that included daytime walks in the pasture land exploring the rural landscape and native plants and wildlife, all reconnected in the evening hours when the elders of his extended family gathered in the quiet evenings to talk, tell stories (cuentos) and exchange jokes (chistes), and share memories (memorias del pasado).  This set the stage for Angel’s passion and dedication to engage in the transfer of a treasury of oral traditions from his parents and grandparents generation to today’s generation.  This he has galvanized as living tradition and artistic expression and has dedicated his research and documentation efforts.

Angel has been Chairman of the Fine and Performing Arts Department and Director of Drama at Colorado Academy in Denver.  He is also a member of the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities Chautauqua Program, presenting the historical interpretation of Diego Martín,  El Vaquero, America’s First Cowboy.  He is a graduate of the University of Kansas, Lawrence.


Espinosa, Aurelio M. Cuentos Populares de España. Buenos Aires: Espasa-Calpe, 1946.

Espinosa, José Manuel. Spanish Folktales from New Mexico. New York: American Folklore Society, 1937.

Vigil, Angel. The Corn Woman: Stories and Legends of the Hispanic Southwest. Englewood, CO. Libraries Unlimited, 1994.

Vigil, Angel. Una Linda Raza: Cultural and Artistic Traditions of the Hispanic Southwest. Golden: Fulcrum Publishing, 1998.