|photo courtesy of South Central Music|
|(L-R) Javier, Fito, and Jaime Olivares|
So of course I chose band and the alto saxophone because I very much wanted to play just like Fito. A few years later, I met the group at my cousin's quinceañera in Pasadena. They were all very nice people, and their music was fun and lively, enticing young and old to dance the night away.
Plus, both of our families were from the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas, which has a rich history of cumbia music to begin with.
As much as Fito's saxophone drove La Sabrosura's music, it was Javier's distinct voice that kept us enticed, and his ad-libs and shout-outs between the verses of each song made him and his band legends of Tejano music, and icons of cumbia.
Armando Sanchez of South Central Music, the Houston-based distributor for the Olivares family record label, sums up the group's influence like this:
To give you some additional perspective of their place in Houston music, at least my opinion on it: On the general market side, we have ZZ Top, Lyle Lovett, Beyonce as contemporary music icons from Houston.
The Latin music equivalent of those would be La Mafia and Fito Olivares y La Pura Sabrosura: Artists who have reached national and international acclaim.
So from all of us at Rocks Off, Rest In Peace, sir. You will be missed.
A funeral mass for Olivares will be held 10 a.m. Friday at St. Pius V Catholic Church, 824 Main, Pasadena.