“Coyote Hustle”: Agonistic Harmony and Transformation

  • Martha Gonzalez Temple University Press


As a Chicana musician who has produced music mostly for public consumption, I find it encouraging when audiences contemplate the messages or ideas behind the music and move toward critical action. For over twenty-one years, songs from my band, Quetzal, have been used as educational tools across and beyond grade levels, institutions, and community organizations. This essay explores efforts involving two of our songs. The first composition, “Estoy Aquí,” is from our Grammy Award–winning album Imaginaries, released in 2012. The second, “Coyote Hustle,” was independently released on the Quetzanimales album in 2014 on Artivist Entertainment. In both cases the community undertook the theory embedded in the songs, and their exploration of the ideas eventually led to critical action. After some thought and discussion with others, I discovered that both examples induced a community process that I identify here as “agonistic harmony,” ultimately leading to transformation.