Mexican Ezequiel Peña was born and raised in the bosom of a low-income family of San José del Valle. He began his career at the age of 12, mostly influenced by local traditional music. Peña achieved international recognition in the mid-'90s after teaming up with Marco Antonio Solís to release Yo Vendo Unos Ojos Verdes in 1994 and Orgullo Ranchero in 1996. Two years later, No Mas Contigo was recorded along with Banda Pioneros. Releasing nearly an album a year, including 2000's El Nuevo Charro de Mexico, 2003's Viva la Banda, and 2005's El de Nayarit, the first time Peña showed off his ability to play norteño, and Nuestra Tradicion: La Charreria, which celebrated the tradition of the Mexican cowboy, or charro. By now recognized as one of the leaders in both mariachi and banda, Peña was nominated by the Grammy committee in 2007 for Best Banda Album for his A Mucha Honra (which had been issued the previous year). ~ Drago Bonacich & Marisa Brown, Rovi