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Los californios

Vykki's Fiddle Los californios performing at 1996 Roots Festival

San Diego Friends of Old-Time Music (SDFOTM) is a California non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation and documentation of traditional music and related art forms.

The corporation maintains an extensive archive of recorded traditional music, collected over the course of many years by Lou Curtiss.

A primary activity of the Corporation currently is its Los californios® Project.

Directors | Related Efforts | Portal | Wares

Los californios
            peforming at Stagecoach days, from left: David Swarens, Janet Martini, and Vykki Mende

Board of Directors

President — David Swarens

Vice President — José Carvajal

Secretary — Janet Martini

Treasurer — Vykki Mende Gray

Member-at-large — Masato Nishimura

Member-at-large — Virginia Curtiss

Member-at-large — Linda Nishimura

Member-at-large — Jonathan Parker

Member-at-large — Bonnie Poppe

Related Efforts

New World Baroque Orchestra

Los Arribeños de San Francisco

Calicanto Singers

The Dances of Early California in Santa Barbara

The Early California Fandango


Baile de California: Preserving California's Cultural Heritage through Dance [also on FaceBook at BaileDeCalifornia]

Los Alacranes

The Center for World Music

Janet Ashford

19th-Century California Sheet Music


The Lou Curtiss Sound Library

Curtis Carlisle Bouterse

The Kathy Kallick Band —

Shadows of the Past

High Country — Bluegrass

San Diego Cajun Playboys

Sourdough Slim

Old Time Appalachian Fiddle

Lou and Peter Berryman

Appalachian Traditional Music —
A Short History, by Debby McClatchy

Musical Traditions — The Magazine for Traditional Music throughout the world

The San Diego Troubadour

Bob Flesher’s Banjo Rogue

Los californios performing as
            pirates at Fiesta del Rio

Smaller guitar

Los californios® Web Site Portal


Takes you to the Los californios® band site. Learn more about our mission to recreate and preserve this secular music and dance which is part of the heritage and history of California. Also find information on purchasing recordings of the music and sheet music for performing it.


Explore information and resources about the Spanish-Language Social Music of 19th-Century Southern California, and about the people who performed it and preserved it in the first half of the twentieth century. Learn about Charles Fletcher Lummis and his far-sighted recording project, and about the people who sang for Lummis’ project. And view programs and photographs of those performances.


Discover the legacy of Padua Hills Theatre and The Mexican Players. From 1930 to 1974 this groundbreaking theatrical group challenged the negative stereotypes of Mexican and californio people and culture, and collected and preserved California aspects of this Mexican culture for future generations. Many of these Players and their families are still available to tell their stories, and we include some of those reminiscences on this site. If you have memories of Padua Hills Theatre and The Mexican Players, please contact us so that we may include them.


Takes you to the site portal — the door into the site that leads to each of the other components. You may also find here all our favorite links to assist you in finding more related sites, as well as a picture of Los californios® in pirate garb. Argh!



¡Qué viva la ronda!
This energetic new CD recording by Los californios® features the songs collected at Rancho Camulos by Charles Fletcher Lummis from members of the del Valle family household.

Flowers of Our Lost Romance
Los californios® first album includes 60 minutes of beautiful Mexican California dances and songs sung in the original archaic Spanish.

Music of Early California
Sheet Music Transcriptions and arrangements for performance.

El ciego Melquíades
The Fiddle Tunes of Melquíades Rodríguez, a tejano fiddler of yesterday
Sheet Music Transcriptions and arrangements for performance.

Order Form

Los californios® is a registered trademark belonging to San Diego Friends of Old-Time Music, Inc.,
a California non-profit corporation.

Contact Los californios® at info@loscalifornios.com.

Find Los californios® on Facebook.

© Vykki Mende Gray, 2020
All rights reserved.

Web design: Ellen Wallace and Vykki Mende Gray
All rights reserved.

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