La Banda el Limón

Biography by

In the regional Mexican market, there has been some confusion about the name Banda el Limón. Some people think that Banda el Limón is only one band, but in fact, two different banda outfits have been…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

In the regional Mexican market, there has been some confusion about the name Banda el Limón. Some people think that Banda el Limón is only one band, but in fact, two different banda outfits have been including Banda el Limón in their names in the 1990s and in the 21st century: La Original Banda el Limón de Salvador Lizárraga and La Arrolladora Banda el Limón de René Camacho -- and adding to the confusion is the fact that both groups have often been referred to as simply Banda el Limón. So it isn't surprising that some of the listeners who have a more casual interest in regional Mexican music might think that there is only one Banda el Limón. But Salvador Lizárraga's Banda el Limón and René Camacho's Banda el Limón are definitely two different groups; in fact, there have been Spanish-language blogs on the Internet debating the merits of Lizárraga's band vs. Camacho's band (which has sold more CDs). However, there was a time when only one band had the name Banda el Limón.

The first Banda el Limón lineup came together in Mazatlán, Mexico, in early 1965, specializing in brassy banda music; their name was inspired by a small Mexican town called El Limón. Banda el Limón had many lineup changes along the way, and eventually, they ended up splitting into two separate groups: La Original Banda el Limón under clarinetist Salvador Lizárraga (who was born on November 9, 1932, in Siqueros in the Mexican state of Sinaloa) and La Arrolladora Banda el Limón under René Camacho, who is also a clarinetist. Both groups benefited from the banda boom of the 1990s. Although banda music had been around long before the 1990s (an early lineup of the seminal Banda el Recodo, for example, was started in Sinaloa in 1938, and Salvador Lizárraga was part of a group called Banda Siqueros from about 1952-1960), it experienced a major increase in popularity during that decade -- and it wasn't until the Bill Clinton years that Banda el Limón became ultra-famous in the regional Mexican market.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Banda el Limón didn't record any albums and were mainly a regional live attraction in Sinaloa; most fans of regional Mexican music never heard of Banda el Limón before the 1990s. But from the 1990s on, Banda el Limón was a huge name in the regional Mexican market -- mainly because of Camacho's wildly successful band (which sold a ton of CDs in both Mexico and the United States), although La Original Banda el Limón de Salvador Lizárraga have also had their share of hits on Mexican radio stations. La Arrolladora Banda el Limón de René Camacho have recorded for Sony, Disa, Fonorama, and La Sierra, while La Original Banda el Limón de Salvador Lizárraga have recorded for Universal Latino, Fonovisa, and DBC. In 2007, Lizárraga turned 75, and 2009 marked the 44rd anniversary of the first Banda el Limón lineup.