Latin

Servando Cano Rodriguez, Founder of Mexican Music Powerhouse Serca, Dead at 78

Servando Cano Sr.
Courtesy Photo

Servando Cano Sr.

Servando Cano Rodríguez, the founder of Mexican music powerhouse Serca Artistic Representatives, which would later expand to include indie regional Mexican music label Serca Music, died Monday (Feb 8) of a sudden heart attack, according to company representatives. He was 78.

“He was a man that devoted his entire life, body and soul, to supporting music,” said Lupe Esparza, a member of Mexican super group Bronco, in a video posted to social media. “He was directly responsible or our comeback, and he supported me personally in every stage of my career. I’m deeply saddened.”

Cano Rodriguez was regarded as one of the venerable industry leaders in regional Mexican music. He founded Serca in 1965, originally as a concert promotion and management company, and would go on to work with legendary names, including Intocable, Los Tigres del Norte and Conjunto Primavera. Serca later expanded its reach, opening a publishing company and, in 2004, a label, all under the umbrella of Serca Music Group.

At the time, Cano Rodriguez and his son, Servando Cano Jr., were frustrated with the way labels marketed and promoted many small and mid-sized acts.

“Many big labels were no longer signing new acts or keeping those that didn’t achieve a certain level of sales. But we’re not looking at short-term sales," Cano Jr. told Billboard in 2005. We’re looking at artists who will be stable, long-term acts."

Most recently, last March, Serca signed a global distribution deal with Ingrooves Music Group, a move that signaled the company’s expansion beyond its Mexican and U.S. borders. “Serca Music has established itself as a quickly growing label in Mexico and the U.S. by focusing on Regional Mexican music and expanding its listener base at home and abroad,” said Bob Roback, CEO of Ingrooves, at the time.

Serca’s current roster includes norteño groups Los Herederos de Nuevo León, Grupo Torrente and Regia Sonora.

While Cano Jr. operated the label and publishing arm of the company, his father continued to run the management and booking company he founded. Discovering talent, however, was always his passion.

“Our story would not have been the same without Don Servando Cano,” wrote Los Tigres del Norte on their Instagram account. “Servando, you will always be one of us.”

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