Born in Oaxaca to gypsy parents, Zenote learned to clap in rhythm and play guitar at the age of three. He debuted to an adoring audience when he was only six years old. His family band, the Maranahta, traveled around the country with all five members, bass, guitar, and keyboard. The Maranahta band traveled into the mountains and played for rural people, even traveling by canoe and walking up mountains to play music for remote tribal people.
At the age of nine, Zenote made his first television musical debut and went solo for the first time. After spending much time as a youth by a Flor de Zompantle tree making flutes, Zenote took its name Sompantle. Inspired by Paco Lucia, Gypsy Kings, and Los Bukis, Mexican Revolutionary Musician, Zenote developed an intricate style, which mixes flamenco, folk, gospel, reggae, polka, and cumbia and mariachi styles. “It’s world music”.
His favorite places to play are in treetops and in the waters of the Hudson River. “For inspiration I play on top of trees. I like to go down to the river and play for the people- that’s just part of me”.
Zenote explains “I don’t carry a case for my guitar. When people see the guitar it brings down walls and they want to hear it. My role is to make them feel and think”.
The band ‘Blak Maria’ was formed with another four musicians and they recorded a demo in NYC. ‘Zenote and Friends’ included eight of his friends and incorporated drums, trumpet, saxophone, percussion, and vocals. Zenote has played at the Marlborough’s Falcon, Beacon’s Howland Cultural Center, Hudson Valley clubs, Woodstock Woody Guthrie Festival, May Day Jam, March for Social and Economic Justice, Spirit of Beacon Day, the Dissident Folk and Artist Festival, and for major radio stations.
Rambling days with fellow musician Creek Iverson led the formation of the ‘Buff Orpington Trio’. In June of 2011, Zenote was playing his guitar at Manhattan’s Amsterdam Market and his photographed appeared in the New Yorker’s ‘Talk of the Town’ section. He has performed with world renowned musicians such as Pete Seeger, Natasha Ramos, Theory, and Rednex Poetry Squad.