Banda El Recodo founder Don Cruz Lizzaraga was born on the west coast of Mexico near Mazatlan, and that has everything to do with his story. European sailors had started brass bands along Mexico's western coast in the 1800s, and Lizzaraga grew up seeing these bands play in town squares. In the 1950s, he decided to form his own brass band -- one that would be smaller and more flexible than the formal, fifty-plus person groups he'd seen. The group would forego the classics and instead play regional styles including ranchera, boleros and cumbia. Banda was born. Lizzaraga shepharded its development until his death, when two of his sons took over the group, which is still going strong.