Avon, Indiana seems like an unlikely place to spawn a group of musicians sporting tubas, trombones, and synths. Duranguense is a Mexican genre of music, closely tied to banda and norteño, played with an odd ensemble of sax, trombone, a tuba bass line, and, in keeping with modern times, lots of synthesizers. You might expect the top Duranguense players to be from Mexico, but in truth the genre began relatively close to Indianapolis, in Chicago. And one of its most infamous players lived in the smallish Indy satellite city of Avon: Sergio Gómez.
|Video of Avon, Indiana resident Sergio Gomez performing with K-Paz de la Sierra on Mexican television|
Sergio Gómez was born in Ciudad Hidalgo in Mexico in 1973, but he immigrated to Chicago later on in his life. He was the founding member of K-Paz de la Sierra, one of the most well known Duranguense groups in the early 2000′s. The band formed on Christmas Eve of 2002, and within the first two months of their existence they had garnered a sizable fan base in the Chicago area. When their debut album, Arrasando Con Fuego, was released in 2003, it sold 35,000 copies in Chicago within its first few hours on the shelves.
Though K-Paz de la Sierra earned their place in the Duranguense world throughout the next several years of their career, Sergio Gómez isn’t as well known for his contributions to Indianapolis music as he is for his untimely death. In 2007, K-Paz de la Sierra performed a show in the Mexican city of Moriela (a “stronghold” for Mexican drug gangs), in the state of Michoacan. Sergio Gómez had been warned not to play in the city, but K-Paz de la Sierra performed anyway. After the concert, Gómez and two businessmen were abducted outside the club. The two businessmen were released, but Gómez was found several days later. He had been tortured and strangled; the Mexican music world mourned and the incident made national headlines in the United States.
|Video of the funeral procession of Avon, Indiana resident Sergio Gomez, lead singer of K-Paz de la Sierra who was murdered in Mexico in 2007|
Sergio Gómez was nominated for a Grammy posthumously on December 6, just three days after his body was found. The body was returned to Gómez’ hometown of Avon. This famous Avon person might be relatively unknown outside of Duranguese and other Mexican music circles, but his death made an impact on all those close to the singer and fans of K-Paz de la Sierra. Though Gómez has since been replaced in the band, he will always be known as a martyr for his music.