Iconic Mexican band Los Tigers Del Norte played two nights at Folsom State Prison, 50 years after the late Johnny Cash did the same.
The April 17 performance of two shows, captured in a report by NPR‘s Felix Contreras, included an audience of about 800 inmates, as Univision cameras captured the concert for a documentary being produced by Oscar-winning Gustavo Santaolalla.
“When we first came to this country, the first performance that we did … was in a prison in Soledad, California,” Tigres frontman Jorge Hernandez said in the NPR report. “It reminds us that it’s a blessing that we can be here at Folsom playing.”
Santaolalla echoes those sentiments. “Getting close to art and music is not only a way to entertain themselves,” Santaolalla said, adding, “but also to open their souls and open their minds to the possibility of a better world.”
Two years ago, Los Tigres Del Norte submitted a request to play at Folsom through the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, according to the report, and adds that Folsom’s inmate population is mostly black and Latino today compared to when Cash played there decades ago, when the majority of inmates were white.
The Hollywood Bowl recently announced that Los Tigres Del Norte will be playing at the venue for Mexican Independence Day, Sept. 15. They be joined by members of Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, Los Cachorros de Juan Villarreal Rosendo Cantú y sus Cadetes de Linares.