By:  Nyria Melchor

Once again, Mariachi Spectacular lived up to its name and long-standing reputation as one of the premier mariachi music conferences in the country. This past July 6 – 10, 2011, hundreds of students from across the country attended the 21st annual Mariachi Spectacular to learn from the many masters who come together year after year to impart their unique knowledge to the next generation of mariachi musicians.


Photo courtesy of Jonathan Clark From L to R: José Hernández, Rubén Fuentes, Miguel Martínez, Rigoberto Alfaro, Jesús Rodríguez de Híjar, and Guadalupe González.

For some, the highlight of this year’s conference was the induction of Maestro Rubén Fuentes to the International Mariachi Hall of Fame on Saturday, July 9.  For students and aficionados alike, Maestro Fuentes’ presence was nothing short of a historical moment.  Earlier in the week, Jonathan Clark, mariachi music historian and lecturer at Stanford University, delivered a presentation to conference attendees detailing Maestro Fuentes’ illustrious legacy as a composer, arranger, musical director, producer and – above all – a visionary who has done more than any other individual to revolutionize the mariachi genre.  Delving into his trove of rare primary source material, Clark presented the students with a unique perspective of mariachi music research and scholarship. “Beyond any doubt, Rubén Fuentes is the most important musical figure in the history of mariachi music,” Clark concluded. “I’m quite humbled to have been asked to do a presentation on him, and even more so in the presence of the maestro himself.”

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Mariachi for Gringos II

Mariachi for Gringos II by Gil Sperry

Diversity is good, isn’t it? To me this seems self-evident, so I’m sometimes confused by the resentment I see from people who are afraid of their world changing around them. Maybe they’re just being protective. I suppose that’s understandable; it’s natural to fear what one does not know: “Take this, eat it, don’t ask me what it is, just eat it, you’ll like it, trust me.” Yeah, right. Ramp that up to a societal level, and sure, I understand the anxiety. When you grow up in a neighborhood where 90% of the people have your same skin color and everyone speaks your language, who wouldn’t feel uncomfortable being told they should learn Spanish if they want to shop at the farmer’s market on the corner? “Really? Why am I the one who has to learn their language? If they want to speak Spanish let them go to their own country!”

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Post image for Interview with Mariachi Pancho Villa from West Palm Beach

Group Name: Mariachi Pancho Villa
Year of Foundation: 1995
Director’s Name: Henry Meneses
Musical Director’s Name: Henry Meneses
City: West Palm Beach
State: Florida
Country: Unites States

Serenata Mariachi (SM): Henry Meneses, from Mariachi Pancho Villa, welcome to Serenata Mariachi.

(HM): One of the best known bands of traditional Mexican music in Florida is “MARIACHI PANCHO VILLA”. As a group, Mariachi Pancho Villa has been in existence for well over 15 years. Since its beginning in 1995 Mariachi Pancho Villa has displayed an enthusiasm in its music, performing, professionalism and dedication which it has established itself as a leader in its genre under the direction of its founder and bandleader Henry Meneses. Mariachi Pancho Villa not only plays traditional Mexican Music they also play Instrumental, Classical, Cumbias, Sones, Polkas, international, and more, Entertaining and arranging events according to customer needs and wants.

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Canada celebra la musica del Mariachi

March 7, 2011
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Tweet El 4to Festival del Mariachi en Canada esta por llegar, un evento que poco a poco se vuelve una tradicion en Canada, todo empezo como un sueno y hoy mariachis de Mexico, Estados Unidos y Canada han venido promoviendo esta bonita tradicion Mexicana. Cada Mayo los mariachis llegan a Vancouver Canada y por 1 […]

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Canada celebrates Mariachi Music

March 7, 2011
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Tweet The 4th MARIACHI FESTIVAL CANADA is just around the corner, an event that is becoming a tradition in Canada, everything started as a dream and today mariachis from Mexico, United State and Canada have been promoting this unique Mexican tradition. Every may mariachis arrive to Vancouver, Canada and for one week they visit and […]

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Mariachi Education Program: Mariachi Cielo Nuevo

February 17, 2011

Tweet By Claudia Zuñiga Mariachi Cielo Nuevo (New Sky) is the youngest, largest and most experienced school-based mariachi ensemble in California. Founded in the year 2002, its 22 members are students at Middleton Street School in the City of Huntington Park. Their instrumental skills are unmatched by other young mariachi groups in the Los Angeles […]

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Entrevista con el Mariachi Citlalli

February 13, 2011
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Tweet Nombre del grupo: Mariachi Citlalli Año de fundación: 2000 Manejador: Jerry and Francisco Navarrete Nombre del director musical: Francisco Navarrete Ciudad: Yonkers Estado: New York País: United States Serenata Mariachi (SM): Hola Jerry, Francisco, bienvenidos a Serenata Mariachi y gracias por compartir la historia del Mariachi Citlalli con nosotros. Empecemos con una breve reseña […]

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Interview with Mariachi Citlalli

February 13, 2011
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Tweet Group Name: Mariachi Citlalli Year of foundation: 2000 Director’s name: Jerry and Francisco Navarrete Musical director’s name: Francisco Navarrete City: Yonkers State: New York Country: United States Serenata Mariachi (SM): Jerry, Francisco, welcome to Serenata Mariachi, and thank you for sharing the story of your Mariachi Citlalli. Can you start telling us briefly about […]

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Getting in Tune with Mariachi Music

January 9, 2011
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Tweet By Linda Woo Reprinted with permission from the Washington Education Association. Just a mile from downtown Wenatchee, 90 students gather daily to create and hone the music of the majority of their elders’ homeland. They get numerous invitations to play in community events, games and grand openings. They pick up awards, Spanish, and along the […]

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Mariachi Huenachi de la Preparatoria Wenatchee

January 9, 2011

Tweet En nuestra primera entrega dedicada a los Programas de Educación Mariachi, reproducimos un artículo por Linda Woo del Washington Education Association. En esta oportunidad conoceremos acerca de aquellas personas detrás del Mariachi Huenachi de la preparatoria Wenatchee y del increible trabajo que hacen por nuestra juventud y por la continuación de la música y de la […]

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