Dispatches From Mexico City: Music Is Diversity

Author: Ty Trumbull
Author: Ty Trumbull

Mexico has a lot of statutory holidays. At least more than where I come from (which is Canada). But for the nation that works more hours than any other country on earth, the time off is a welcome release.

Yesterday was Labour Day. So after I finished my work for the day (working on holidays is just one of the great joys of being a writer) I headed to a friend's place. When I got there I was met with a dozen or so people barbecuing, laughing, drinking, and passing musical instruments around on a back patio.

If Music Be The Fruit Of Love...

The poet Henry Longfellow once called music the universal language of mankind, and there was a moment at that party that I think perfectly exemplifies that sentiment. After playing a few songs the music evolved into an open jam, with people passing songs around or just riffing over a standard blues progression. But at one point, as I played my banjo, I looked around to realize I was jamming with an Uruguay upright bass player, a French drummer, a Mexican jazz guitarist, and a man playing a traditional Jarocha instrument (Jarocha is the folk music of Veracruz Mexico).

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We switched between country and jazz standards and traditional Latin American music (songs like La Bamba and Guantanamera) as the drummer from France occasionally punctuated the music with exclamations in a variety of languages. We even played some Wanda Jackson.

A Healthy Serving of Diversity

The city I called home for more than a decade, Toronto, has been called the most multicultural city in the world, but even there I don’t know if I ever saw anything quite like what I experienced yesterday. There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about diversity in the tech world; potential ways to address the problem; and advice for C-suite leaders. Based on what I experienced on a cramped back patio in Mexico, diversity is a valuable thing to strive for.

Different perspectives bring something different to the table (both literally and figuratively, in this sense). Sitting around the table were people from Germany, Brazil, Peru, The United States, France, Canada, and obviously Mexico. The food was good, the conversation was interesting (at least when it wasn’t stilted by my poor Spanish), and the music was like nothing I’d ever heard.

The next holiday is this Friday, May 5 . Better known as Cinco de Mayo. And I can’t wait.

Ty Trumbull, from his base in Mexico City, covers the entrepreneur's journey and business continuity for ChannelE2E.