Twentieth-century Mexican composer Arturo Márquez is most famous for his Danzones, a set of eight Cuban-influenced dances for different ensembles. Márquez also composes for films and is an active teacher. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and honours from multiple countries.
Arturo Márquez was born in the colonial desert town of Alamos, Sonora, Mexico in 1950. He was named after his father, a man of Mexican descent from Arizona. Arturo Márquez Sr. was a truly impressive man, excelling at the violin and the mariachi. When the family needed extra income, he also worked as a carpenter. Márquez Sr. passed his love of music down to his eldest son, introducing him to the traditional music of his quartet, which consisted mostly of waltzes and polkas.
In 1962, the Márquez family moved to Le Puente, California, a town in Los Angeles County. It was here, beginning in 1966, that young Arturo began to study the violin, piano and trombone at school. His teachers at this time included Thomas Rosseti and Eva McGowen.
In addition to learning various instruments, Márquez pursued composition and listened to a diverse selection of music. According to Márquez, ‘My adolescence was spent listening to Javier Solis, sounds of mariachi, the Beatles, the Doors, Carlos Santana and Chopin’.