On July 23rd, the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greely will host a Mariachi Extravaganza concert featuring participants and winners of San Antonio’s well-known Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza music festival. Mariachi Azteca de América will perform with topnotch vocalists Jackelyn Barrera, Alexa Posas and Vanessa Cerda Alonso on Saturday, July 23 at 4:00 p.m., at the university’s Nottingham Field.
Vanessa Cerda Alonso is an accomplished singer who has performed with the world famous Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán in the Houston Grand Opera company’s Cruzar la Cara de la Luna and El Pasado Nunca se Termina. She has sung at some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France; the Chicago Symphony Hall in Chicago, Illinois; and the Wortham Center Brown Theater in Houston, Texas. Vanessa has participated in numerous mariachi music festivals and events, including the Serenata para las Madres and the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio, as well as opening for Mariachi Vargas in Houston. She has appeared on the international television reality show Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento and was selected as “Best Mariachi Vocalist in the U.S.” at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in 1999.
Jackelyn “Jackie” Barrera was a finalist on the Spanish-language television show La Voz Kids, where she performed for international audiences on the Telemundo network. She has appeared as an opening act for Mariachi Vargas at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Lila Cockrell Theater in San Antonio, and was a featured vocalist in the Serenata para las Madres Mother’s Day tribute at San Antonio’s Charline McCombs Empire Theater. One of the nation’s most dynamic young mariachi vocalists, Jackie was selected as the “Best Mariachi Vocalist in the U.S.” at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in 2014.
Alexa Posas is a 17-year-old junior and the violin section leader of Roma, Texas’s award-winning Mariachi Nuevo Santander de Roma High School. In October of 2015, she and her group performed for President Obama during the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. She has also performed as a guest vocalist at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Go Tejano Day, and for the World-Class Bloodless Bullfight events at the Santa María Bullring in La Gloria, Texas. Last November in San Antonio, Alexa opened for Mariachi Vargas after winning “Best Mariachi Vocalist in the U.S.” during the 21st Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, and she opened again for them in Ann Arbor, Michigan last April. Most recently, Alexa had the opportunity to showcase her talents to Grammy award winner Vikki Carr during the Mariachi Extravaganza Summer Vocal Camp.
All three of these outstanding young vocalists will perform at the July 23 concert accompanied by the award-winning Mariachi Azteca de América. Two-time winners of Houston’s Go Tejano Day competition — where they performed in front of a live audience of 70,000 — this 12-piece ensemble has proven itself the top professional mariachi group in Texas. Their director is veteran mariachero Gino Rivera. Members of Mariachi Azteca de América are Uriel Bibiano, Víctor Galván, Luis Carlos González, Luis Carlos Robles, Gino Rivera and Carlos Torres on violins; Jesús Guerra and Justin Acebedo on trumpets; Ricardo Rocha on guitarrón; Ahuitzotl Cabral on vihuela; and Cirilo Campos and Robert Casillas on guitars. The group’s latest CD is titled Dame un Minuto.
This Mariachi Extravaganza performance is part of the University of Northern Colorado’s Presenting Arts Program, and is directed by that institution’s School of Music.
The University of Northern Colorado is located in Greely, Colorado, about an hour and a half from Denver. Tickets for the Mariachi Extravaganza can be purchased at tickets.unco.edu.
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