CALEXICOÂ â€“ A full house of cheering NorteÃ±o and Tejano fans from both sides of the border sang along with Grammy-winning NorteÃ±o artist Ramon Ayala Friday evening at Gran Plaza Outlets as he delighted the crowd with his most popular songs.
Ayala, known as â€œEl Rey del Acordion,â€ and playing his traditional green, white and red accordion, was the main attraction for the Grito de Independencia celebration where over 3,000 people attended.
â€œWe are fans of Ramon Ayala and have been for numerous years. Heâ€™s my idol,â€ said Adriana Barriga, who travelled from Indio along with her son Dennis Barriga. â€œHis music is extraordinary and I love it.â€
Recognized throughout the United States and Mexico, the Grammy-winning bandleader led the six-man band (Los Bravos del Norte) through its paces of hits such as, â€œTragos de Amargo Licor,â€ â€œBonita Finca de Adobe,â€ â€œBesos y Caricas,â€ and â€œTengo Miedo.â€
Calexico resident Lilly MuÃ±oz Atrian, along with daughter Connie Atrian and numerous family members, said she was excited to hear Ayala.
Calexico City Mayor Luis Castro presented Ayala with a certificate of recognition for his musical contributions and thanked the artist for his performance.
â€œWe have been planning this event since March,â€ said Cesar Casillas, general manager of the Gran Plaza Outlets. â€œThese types of events are not common in Calexico. We wanted to bring something new to the city and we definitely accomplished it.â€
According to Casillas, the amount spent on the event, including the artist, stage, lighting, and sound system, was approximately $80,000.
â€œWe want people know Gran Plaza Outlets, and not only that, we want to give back to the community,â€ said Casillas. â€œThis is one way to show our gratitude. Our events are not intended to make profit. They are a way to promote our facility.â€
With minimum equipment, a drum kit and congas, accordion, and bajo sexto, Ayala brought the audience to their feet with soaring high notes as they sang along to â€œUn PuÃ±o de Tierra.â€
Dressed in matching outfits and cowboy hats, Ramon Ayala y Sus Bravos del Norte delivered what some called one of the most rousing concerts of the year in Calexico.