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Musicians give a performance the presidential press conference. Musicians give a performance at the presidential press conference.

For Oaxacan youth, the National Palace is only a prelude

Young trumpeter has sights set on performing in France

Today the National Palace in Mexico City, tomorrow … the Philharmonie de Paris?

Kevin Emmanuel Maya Martínez, an 11-year-old from the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, was one of 108 young musicians from the southern state who played before President López Obrador, other officials and reporters during the presidential press conference at the executive seat of power on Monday.

Now that he has performed in one of Mexico’s most famous and prestigious buildings, the young trumpet player said that his dream is to play in the Philharmonie de Paris – a complex of concert halls in the French capital – because he likes the way they play there.

The sixth-grader said that his grandfather started teaching him the brass instrument at the age of 7 after a false start two years prior.

“When I was 5, my grandpa wanted to teach me but I didn’t want to [learn]. . . I saw how he played, how he practiced and I started to like [the trumpet] and he gave me classes,” Maya said.

The youngster’s performance at the National Palace came after López Obrador handed over musical instruments to bands from the eight different regions of Oaxaca. The government purchased the instruments with money raised from auctions of assets seized from organized crime.

“A flute is a million times better than a gun,” the president declared.

The musicians played songs covering a range of traditional Oaxacan genres, transforming López Obrador’s news conference into a celebration of southern Mexican culture. Federal Consumer Protection Agency chief Ricardo Sheffield was one of several officials who got up and danced.

At one point, López Obrador looked at his watch and said: “It’s 7:30, there’s time, isn’t there? Not for questions, [but] to hear the Mixtec anthem by the master [Oaxacan composer José López] Alavez, composed in 1915, if you can — the Canción Mixteca.”

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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