Mexican Independence celebrated at Sac State’s El Grito

Approximately 800 people were in attendance


Ronaldo Gomez

Banda La Octava Maravilla takes the stage at El Grito hosted by Sac State’s UNIQUE programs. Their style of music is known as banda, a musical ensemble of brass wind instruments.

Ronaldo Gomez, Arts & entertainment editor

Banda La Octava Maravilla headlined El Grito, an event in celebration of Mexican Independence hosted by Sacramento State’s UNIQUE Programs in the University Ballroom Thursday evening. 

El Grito was created as an event by Latinx fraternity Gamma Zeta Alpha and UNIQUE in 2009. 

El Grito, or “the cry” in Spanish, was founded on the basis of celebrating Mexico’s independence from Spain. Much of the change in culture following Mexican independence revolved around the music.

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Alikan Musical, who opened for the headliner, played musical notes of cumbia and norteños at the event, as previewed on UNIQUE’s event page

Alikan Musical expressed their excitement for the performance at Sac State.

“Super excited to be with you sharing a bit of our music,” the group told The State Hornet via Instagram “We already had the opportunity to play at a UC Davis cultural event where the heroes of the homeland were remembered.”

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Banda La Octava Maravilla performed as the main headliner. They are from Sacramento but have made it big on streaming services such as Spotify. Their most played song is “La Vida Alegre,” with 87,760 plays.

UNIQUE Program Advisor Ajamu Lamuba mentioned before the show that they were expecting about 800 attendees, based off numbers from last year’s event. The anticipated size of the audience lead them to use all three sections of the ballroom. 

In this year’s planning, fraternity Gamma Zeta Alpha contributed to the historical aspect of the event, with members  walking around wearing their fraternity jackets and telling attendees about the history of Mexican music.

RELATED: El Grito ceremony displays Latino culture

Victor Rodriguez, a member of Gamma Zeta Alpha, explained that the fraternity helped coordinate the event in hopes that everyone would enjoy themselves.

Lindsey De Leon, a Sac State child development major, explained that she didn’t always listen to banda music, but went to the event to experience something new.

Banda music has its roots in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, where it was first established the late 1800s. Banda groups are typically composed of 12 to 17 members and include vocals, brass, woodwind and percussion instruments.

“My sorority sisters are Mexican and I’m not,” De Leon said. “So I want to get myself more aware of different cultures.”

Many students, such as Spanish major Andres Perez, expressed that they listen to banda often.

“I listen (to banda) every day,” Perez said. “Every day. I found out about the event from a flyer outside of Lassen Hall and wanted to come check it out.”

More information events UNIQUE will be hosting can be found here.

Jasmin Acosta contributed to this report.