Grupo Montéz de Durango

Grupo Montéz de Durango, the most famous practitioners of the Pasito Duranguense, or the Durango Step, a rhythm-driven hybrid of quebradita and merengue invented by Mexican-Americans in Chicago, the city where Grupo Montéz de Durango formed, found success in both the U.S. and Mexico since the release of their debut album, Rama Seca, in 1997. With a lineup that mainly rotated between José Luis Terrazas on drums, Alfredo Ramírez Corral on lead vocals, Ismael Mijarez on bass, Daniel Terrazas Avila on keyboards, Paco Lopez on keyboards, César Ruelas on trombone, and Armando Aguirre Ramirez on tambura, as well as other guest musicians, Grupo Montéz de Durango went on to release many more records, including 1998's Tu Mirada: Coleccion Original, 2002's Sube y Baja, 2003's De Durango a Chicago debuted at number two on the Hot Latin Albums chart, while 2004's En Vivo Desde Chicago, an audio and video package, peaked at number one. The Latin Albums chart-topping run continued with 2005's Y Sigue La Mata Dando, 2006's Borron y Cuenta Nueva, and 2007's Agarrese; during2007, a second release entitled En Directo Desde Mexico a Guatemala placed at seven. Two more recordings placed in the Top Ten, while between 2005 and 2009, they placed a staggering 24 albums in the Top 50. But Latin Albums wasn't the only chart they scored big on. During that same period, nine albums placed inside the all-genre Top 200 -- five of them in the Top 50. Their run on the Mexican Regional Albums charts was even more impressive: Between 2004 and 2008, they placed a dozen albums inside the Top Ten, with five number ones. In 2014, Grupo Montéz de Durango delivered an independent compilation offering on the Cruz de Piedra label entitled Presenta; in addition to the band, it featured specially selected norteño artists such as Norteñisimo Zierra Azul y Rey Román. Their touring activities continued, and they played not only in the U.S. and Mexico, but Latin America. Their final record for Cruz de Piedra was 2016's De Vuelta a la Sierra. They signed to Remex Music for the following year's Sin Cambiar el Estilo. ~ Marisa Brown

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