Members of a Petaluma quartet get paid to play Mexican and southwestern dance music at festivals, gallery openings and restaurants across Sonoma County.
But the four accomplished musicians in Los Gu'achis, an instrumental group, get the most satisfaction from free performances they put on every week at two Petaluma senior centers.
Seeing elderly people cast aside walkers and start dancing as the music moves them or wave their arms while seated in wheelchairs brings a profound sense of joy, fiddle player Barbara Arhon said.
She and her band play from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesdays at the Petaluma People Services Center on Howard Street and noon to 1 p.m. Fridays at the Petaluma Senior Cafe on Novak Street in Lucchesi Park.
"It's pretty amazing," said Arhon, a Petaluma music teacher. "We all have a good time."