Maximo Grado are a regional Mexican group from Culiacan, Sinaloa. They play danceable corridos almost exclusively -- with a few choice rancheras in the mix. Audiences often know every word to their songs and readily sing along -- something the band actively encourages. They came together in 2011 behind frontman Cristian Felix. The personnel also includes the innovative accordionist Alexis Valenzuela (who also sings backup), Adrian Martinez on bajo sexto, drummer Jesus Romero, electric bassist Christian Sanchez (who also functions as a second lead vocalist), and percussionist Willy Saldana. The band's chief composer is non-performing member Jesús E. Muñoz Sánchez. Maximo Grado's unique sound signature includes syncopated drumming, swirling, staccato accordion, and a series of dialogues in their vocal attack. In addition, they do not sing narcocorridos or any songs that promote violence; rather, they detail family and country life. It speaks to their cross-generational appeal and sets them apart from many other corrido groups from Sinaloa. After attracting public interest by releasing a series of videos on social media, the band took to the road over the next several years, honing their sound. Their debut album was the live La Vida del Leon in 2014, followed by the studio effort Yo Soy Ivan on HyPhy in 2014. In 2015, the pre-release single "Unas Heladas" made various Mexican Regional airplay charts, and the full-length Marca Acme was released in May, 2015 by AfinArte Music. ~ Thom Jurek
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