Los Bukis & Beyond: Marco Antonio Solís’ Historia Cantada Continues

Marco Antonio Solís is pictured performing at Smart Financial Centre in Houston
on April 22, 2022. Cover photo by Eduardo Cardoza.

Mucho MAS. Much more of Marco Antonio Solís and Los Bukis is what fans wanted in 2021 and 2022. And they’ve gotten it.

Last year, with the U.S. inching its way out of a lethal pandemic and in the face of economic uncertainty, Solís and the legendary group he was once an integral part of got back together again for the first time in more than 25 years – and to roaring success.

With nine shows at six stadiums, Los Bukis’ Live Nation-promoted reunion tour, “Una Historia Cantada (A Sung History) grossed an impressive $49.7 million and ranked No. 6 on Pollstar’s 2021 Year-End Top 100 Worldwide Tours chart. By popular demand, the tour then stretched into 2022. As if that weren’t enough, in April, Solís embarked on his own arena world tour, “Qué Ganas De Verte!” (So Eager to See You), and he was chosen as the 2022 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year.

Ganas De Verte: Marco Antonio Solís takes the stage at Teatro Dal Verme in Milan, Italy, on July 1, 2022. Photo by Chino Lemus.

With nine shows at six stadiums, Los Bukis’ Live Nation-promoted reunion tour, “Una Historia Cantada (A Sung History) grossed an impressive $49.7 million and ranked No. 6 on Pollstar’s 2021 Year-End Top 100 Worldwide Tours chart. By popular demand, the tour then stretched into 2022. As if that weren’t enough, in April, Solís embarked on his own arena world tour, “Qué Ganas De Verte!” (So Eager to See You), and he was chosen as the 2022 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year.

Across frontiers and generations, many are eager to see more of Solís, whose more than four decades-long career is being recognized by The Latin Recording Academy this month, during the 23rd Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, for being the perfect ambassador not only of the music of his native Mexico, but of Latin music in general; for collaborating with peers that admire and respect his multifacetedness; and for promoting up-and-coming talent. For being, as Manuel Abud, CEO of The Latin Recording Academy, described him: “a living legend and one of the most emblematic figures in Latin music.”

Reacting to the announcement, Solís, a five-time Latin Grammy winner – this year, his album Qué Ganas De Verte (Deluxe) is nominated in the category Best Ranchero/Mariachi album – and six-time Grammy nominee, stated that he felt “moved and grateful” by the distinction, and wanted to share that “sentiment” with everybody who had inspired him over the years.

The Awakening

Inspiration of a different kind – to surprise the public by reuniting with regional Mexican music icons Los Bukis – came out of the dark times the world had been going through since 2020.

“That brought to all of us a deeper reflection of what our mission in life is. Mine was to understand with more clarity how vulnerable we are,” shares Solís with Pollstar via WhatsApp from his hometown of Michoacán.

“The idea came to me of talking with my partners of Los Bukis, and from these conversations, we heeded that call of doing something together since we were all here, thank God,” continues Solís, who saw firsthand the unabated fervor of fans when he surprised them with a special performance by Los Bukis at the end of a May 2021 live streaming concert of his called “Bohemia en Pandemia” (Bohemia during the Pandemic).


Marco Antonio Solís performs at “Estamos Unidos 2001” (We Are United 2001) concert Oct. 21, 2001 at Whittier Narrows Recreational Park in South El Monte, California. He’s pictured a few years after he departed Los Bukis to pursue a solo career. Photo by Alexander Sibaja / Getty Images

“That led us to a few more shows together, and from there came this reunion that stunned the entertainment industry with its incredible success,” says the singer-songwriter, arranger, producer, musician, artistic director, winner of many other accolades (including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame), entrepreneur, husband, and father.

The project began to solidify with a new recording of Los Bukis’ classic hit “Tu Cárcel” (Your Jail), an experience nothing short of magical, remembers Salvador Cacho, in charge of Solís’ marketing and publicity, including social media (How about over 20 million followers? Those are the numbers Cacho deals with).

“ ‘Oh my God, is this truly happening?’ I said to his wife, Cristy,” recalls Cacho, who has worked with the Solís family for eight years now, by phone from Mexico City. “It was as if time hadn’t passed.”

Cacho was too young to have caught the success of Los Bukis the first time around, so to witness them joining forces in the recording studio once again, made him aware that he “was witnessing a truly historic event.”

Solís, not one to rest on his laurels – triumphant across multiple music genres, from grupero and mariachi to Latin pop, romantic, cumbia, and more; 40 million copies sold, and nine million monthly listeners across streaming platforms – knew his fans enough to feel deep within him that a reunion with Los Bukis would be well received, “but never to this magnitude!”

“This tells us that the ‘Bukimania’ is alive and well in the hearts of our audiences, and of that young audience that never saw us before but continued listening to our music,” he adds.

Little Kids: Guitarist Joel Solís, percussionist José Javier Solís and singer Marco Antonio Solís of Los Bukis perform during a stop of the band’s “Una Historia Cantada” tour at Allegiant Stadium on Aug. 12, 2022, in Las Vegas. Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Image

The “Una Historia Cantada” limited-engagement tour kicked off in August 2021 with two nights at Southern California’s new SoFi Stadium – marking the first-ever sold-out shows at the Inglewood venue with a total of 94,671 tickets sold and a gross of more than $13.8 million – and from there, it just snowballed, capping the U.S. run this year with an Aug. 26 gig at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington. There were challenges involved, from enacting COVID-19 protocols to other logistical needs, but in the end, the tour proved right all the believers in Los Bukis. The group is set to wrap up 2022 with a handful of shows in Mexico.

“I had full confidence in what this tour was going to do,” says Hans Schafer, Live Nation’s senior vice-president, Global Touring. 

“Just the impact and importance this band had when it was active, from the 70s to the 90s; the multigenerational sort of component, things that we were seeing virally happen, it all pointed in the direction that this was going to be massively successful.”

Significantly, and beyond resounding sales, adds Schafer, with Los Bukis filling stadiums with sold-out performances, the tour broke down barriers and opened doors to other Latin artists. 

Given the prosperity of these history-making concerts, what happens next? Will Solís and his Bukis partners – Javier Solís, Joel Solís, Eusebio “Chivo” Cortés, Pedro Sánchez, José Guadarrama, and Roberto Guadarrama – continue?

“‘Una Historia Cantada’ is a project that was born free,” states Solís aka El Buki. “All of the members agreed that this has no expiration date. It’s an adventure with wings, and the public will know how to give those wings the wind they need to fly.”

They could be flying for a long time. What Solís has achieved throughout his career, with the group and on his own, should not be underestimated.

“Marco Antonio Solís is a mix of artist and esoteric poet that has taken popular Mexican music to impressive levels,” says José Urioste, writer and CEO of Yucatan Times, the foremost English-language online newspaper in the Yucatán Peninsula. “There is no other popular Mexican music artist, at least right now, that possesses the charisma and the charm of El Buki. It’s a phenomenon worthy of being studied sociologically. I can assure you of that.”

A Sung History, Indeed

Solís was born in the municipality of Ario de Rosales, state of Michoacán, Mexico, on Dec. 29, 1959. While barely teens, he and his cousin Joel formed a duo that evolved into Los Bukis in the early to mid-70s, eventually becoming beloved chart-topping performers of the Norteño and Tejano music genres, recording 16 studio albums, and splitting up in 1996.

The word buki, an indigenous term of the Yaki ethnic tribe, from northwestern Mexico and the U.S. state of Arizona, was adopted as the group’s moniker for a reason.

“It means little kid in the Yaki dialect, from the northern part of our country, in Sonora and Baja California,” explains Solís. “It fit with our ages because when my cousin Joel and I started, we were adolescents.” The name stuck.

All In The Family: Marco Antonio Solís (C) performs with his daughters, singers Alison Solís (L) and Marla Solís, (R) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Sept. 13, 2019 in Las Vegas. Photo by Gabe Ginsberg / Getty Images

While Los Bukis consolidated their success in the 1980s, Solís also branched out by fruitfully   producing and composing for other colleagues in the music industry. The group disbanded in May 1996 with Solís launching a solo career of his own and the rest of the members carrying forth as Los Mismos. Since then, Solís has expanded his musical repertoire and collaborated with some of the biggest names in the Latin entertainment world, practically a who’s who of stars such as Roberto Carlos, Miguel Bosé, Enrique Iglesias, Camila, David Bisbal, and Los Tigres del Norte. Then came tours with major talents like Marc Anthony, Laura Pausini, Chayanne, and Alejandro Fernández, among others.

In 2017, Solís took on a different project, no less entertaining and memorable: dubbing in Spanish a character for the Disney/Pixar animated film Coco.

“It was surprising for many to find out that I had voiced in Spanish the character of Ernesto de la Cruz in ‘Coco’,” Solís says. “I had a great time dubbing it.”

That’s just one of the many  endeavors El Buki has undertaken over the past few years. He has worked on coffee and sauce brands, opened a boutique hotel and spa and over the spring, and introduced a tequila called Tesoro Azul (Blue Treasure).

Do his talents also extend to the kitchen then?

“As most people that stayed home during the pandemic, we discovered some new virtues we had but were not aware of,” Solís says. “The hidden cook within me expressed himself and I don’t think I’m too bad.”

Not bad at all from this buki who changed Latin music history, touched unimaginable amounts of people, and continues making history with his songs.