Tranquilino Serrano of Espanola, NM in 1966. Photograph by Mansi Kern.

AR.00015.2 MOIFA Curators: Richard Bowen Stark Series

Tranquilino Serrano of Espanola, NM  in 1966.  Photograph by Mansi Kern. In 1966, Kern wrote "Tranquilino Serrano was born in Coyote, New Mexico in 1910 on October l8th. His mother, Agapita M. Serrano, was very musical although she did not play an instrument. She sang the early Spanish-Colonial dance tunes to her young son. He learned many of them from her. His father, Tranquilino Serrano, Sr., was a rancher. He did not play an instrument. His grandfather and great grandfather (on his father's side) were both exceptional violinists. Tranquilino began playing the violin at the age of twelve. Because he was so eager to learn to play, his father traded a prize goat for a neighbor's violin. Tranquilino taught himself to play his new instrument. At dances, he listened attentively to the finest musicians. He imitated and learned from their playing. He began to play at dances at the age of sixteen. He taught himself to play in many keys. Tranquilino taught himself to playthe concertina in 1935. The violin is his favorite instrument although the concertina is the most popular at dances. He has played at many dances and weddings at nearby villages. At 56 he remains a very active, well-liked musician in the Espanola area."

On the recordings in the Stark Collection, Tranquilino Serrano sometimes performs with his sons Ernest (guitar) and Tranquilino Jr (guitar, bass), and with his brother Juan Serrano (guitar).

1966 Date created
September 15 2018 Date modified
Curatorial Category

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Bartlett Library and Archives (publisher)