San Miguel de Allende

The first Spanish settlement in Guanajuato, it was founded in 1542 by the Franciscan monk Juan de San Miguel, a benefactor of the Indians, and was named for him. Allende was added in 1826 to honor a native son, Ignacio Allende, a hero of the revolution against Spain.  San Miguel de Allende was born out of struggle and yet today sits proudly as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites and has been voted #1 best small town in the world by Conde Nast, five times.

With a population of around 120,000, San Miguel de Allende boasts a ridiculous number of restaurants (over 500) for such a small population.  It is a haven of everyone - from hippies to Presidential leaders.  In 2023, Bill & Hillary Clinton were caught wandering the Jardin (the town square in the center of town).  These sightings are not uncommon here.  The sheer beauty of the town makes it a #1 destination for weddings and celebrities.  And yet this is a town barely known outside of those that are "in the know".

Firmy built on a foundation of art

San Miguel de Allende has a long history of art, following the discovery of silver in nearby regions centuries ago.  In the 18th century, it was a major player in the textile market, and this is still remembered with the beautiful Fabrica La Aurora - a reclaimed textile factory that is now a high end art gallery.

The following video probably sums it up best:

"The San Miguel Sound"

San Miguel de Allende definitely has a distinctive sound to it.  The fusion of Latin influence with indigenous rhythms, but the integration with traditional western music from The Beatles to The Foo Fighters.  Everything here is creative and different.  Even the fusion of traditional music of jazz & classical has been reborn by way of high energy musicians and high energy mixing.

The music scene in San Miguel de Allende is incredible.  Featuring some of the greatest classical, jazz, contemporary, rock, folk and Latin artists, we are always surprised the quality of local session players that we can muster for a recording at Troubled Clef Studios.  It is not surprising, however.  The number of live venues are incredible with clubs like the Raindog Lounge being at the crossroads of talent that comes into town, or the mainstay talent that plays here regularly.  Add to that the private theaters such as Bill Lose's Sunset Theater, which features larger scale events on a monthly basis, designed to embrace the locals and celebrate their birthdays.  Thank god there are so many birthdays!

Larger venues are here including the historical Angela Peralta Theater, a regular location of high end jazz, classical and contemporary concerts.  Our town is routinely visited by touring musicians including Herbie Hancock who headlined the San Miguel Jazz Festival in 2022.

If you come to Troubled Clef Studios and San Miguel de Allende to record, it is hard not to be influenced by what goes on here naturally.  Maybe your music will inherit a Latin influence you never saw coming and be touched by The San Miguel Sound.

The culture is over the top

It is hard to fully appreciate in a web page what San Miguel de Allende has to offer.  Maybe best if you watch this video as a general summary of the town and why you should come here:

Is it safe?

Totally.  Compared to most major western metropolis cities, it is so safe.  Despite the press giving Mexico a bad rep when it comes to safety, the truth is that beyond the border regions towns like San Miguel de Allende are amazingly safe.  That's not to say that there isn't the odd crime event that pops up here and there, but other than petty theft which can be understood considering the vast gap between the rich & poor in Mexico, the safety of San Miguel de Allende is good.  

About 5% of the total population of San Miguel de Allende are expats that come here from the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, etc. and most stay for decades.  It is pretty common to talk to another expat at the supermarket and find they have been living here for 20 years.  Probably the greatest risk we hear about is when someone makes the mistake of drinking water from a tap, rather than bottled water.  The odd petty theft here and there, but nothing that is out of the norm for most towns in the world.