My indigenous name is “Yxayotl”, which in Nahuatl means tears. In 1977 during a peyote ceremony, an old Shaman from the Huichol tribe, Don Jose Matsuwa, gave me that name.
I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico on December 28, 1952. I am proud to be a descendent of the Huicholes. During the 1970’s, I decided to follow my dreams and to investigate and play the pre-Columbian music; that same music that was prohibited for 300 years due to its intensity and deep spiritual impact it had on the people of those times. My passion took me to the mountains of Jalisco and Nayarit, Mexico where I lived with the Huicholes and Tepehuanes for long periods of time.
I participated in indigenous ceremonies and rituals, sharing their knowledge. My passion for the handmade instruments, i.e.; Mayan and Aztec drums and flutes, Tarahumara drums, turtle shells, rain sticks, Teponaxtli log drums, Mayan ocean drums, rattles, gourds, and many others, grew without limits.
With the experience and knowledge I acquired, and through the studies I did, I have become one of a few Mexican artists who are able to construct with my own hands instruments identical to the instruments used by the prehispanic peoples. They are replicas of the instruments used by the Aztecs, Mayas, and other indigenous nations from Mexico, and based on ancient manuscripts. The magic of my instruments is a faithful reproduction of the autochthonous musical instruments and the music is authentic and natural.
After researching the museums and private collections for these instruments, I have been able to reproduce these beautiful instruments. I brought the clay Mayan and Aztec double and triple flutes here to this country expressly to share this knowledge of the ancestors. The road traveled has not always been easy, but this music and my art “is my reason to live”.
Most of my life has been spent constructing and playing these instruments. In looking at my cultural roots and musical roots, I realized music crosses all barriers! It was at this time in 1985 that I decided to form a group and I named it America Indigena. The group is composed of people who share my musical sentiments. During our travels of concerts and ceremonies, we interpret the authentic music of the Mayans, Aztecs, Tarahumaras, Yaquis, Tepehuanes and Huicholes. I also sing in Tarahumara and my native Huichol and Nahuatl languages.
Besides musical performances and always creating new and different flutes, I am an artist. At the young age of eleven, I was placed into the University of Fine Arts studying and working hard amongst the adults and other artists to become great at refining and fine tuning different art techniques. As a result, today I can create all styles of art. My preference is to paint very large paintings, and currently my focus has taken me to places of interest with California landscapes. Although, I am most known for my favorite art style of “Surreal-Mystic of Sacred Spirit”.