Like Father…

A statuette of San Andrés Apostol frames Estanislao Maqueos as he imparts a music lesson to his younger son at Maqueos Music Academy in Los Angeles.

Estanislao Maqueos was still a child when his father warned him that life as a musician was not an easy ordeal. Even so, Estanislao picked up his the trumpet and began to play the music his father had been playing for years in their native Oaxaca.

Within a few years, Estanislao was a traveling professional musician in his home state and was making enough money to start a family. But when things got tougher, he headed north to California and left his trumpet behind.

He arrived in Los Angeles to work at a car wash; then, at an industrial laundry, and then he became a dishwasher. He was still carrying his trumpet’s mouthpiece, but the musician’s life was long gone or at least that what his coworkers used to tell him:

“Be realistic! In California, no one cares if you were a musician back home. Here, we all start from scratch. We are all foot soldiers.” But, Estanislao rarely listened and kept on dreaming about playing music.

Soon after he stopped working 12-hour shifts, he began imparting music lessons. Once he had enough pupils under his wing, he inaugurated the Maqueos Music Academy and formed the Maqueos Music Banda Filarmónica. Among those first students was his oldest daughter, Yulissa, who now plays clarinet and wants to be a professional musician too. In a few months, the filarmonica will soon be joined by Yulissa’s younger brother, Edward, who is learning the alto horn. I am not sure whether both kids will be professional musicians like their father, but I am certain they both have been warned about the hardships of a musician’s life.

Maqueos Music Academy
Estanislao Maqueos leads an ensemble of young musicians at Maqueos Music Academy in Los Angeles.

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