Jorge Alberto Aguayo Núñez was born on October 13, 1980 in Nochistlán, Zacatecas, a town that has produced many outstanding trumpet players. His father, Francisco Aguayo, as well as his brother and uncles, were all mariachi musicians. At age 13, Jorge began studying the trumpet with Jesús Medina of nearby Yahualica, Jalisco. At age 15, he began playing with a series of modest local mariachis.
Jorge around age three, playing a toy trumpet.
In 1997, at age 17, Jorge moved to Guadalajara, where he remained for four years. The first group he played with in that city was Mariachi Moya. With that ensemble’s leader, former Mariachi Vargas member Ildefonso Moya, he studied solfège and music theory. After a year with Mariachi Moya, he spent a year with Mariachi Nuevo Instrumental, the house band at the famous Casa Bariachi night club, then half a year with Mariachi Jalisciensce de Roberto Pinzón, followed by nearly a year with Mariachi Los Toritos de Alberto Ibarra. Los Toritos was the best-known and most established of all the Guadalajara groups Jorge played with.
Mariachi de América de Jesús Rodríguez de Híjar en 2002
Fondo: Luis Domínguez, Jesús Villegas, Arturo Vargas, Andrés González, muchacha sin identificar, Jesús Rodríguez de Híjar, Martín Alfaro, Jorge Aguayo, Alberto Jiménez y Víctor García.
Frente: Marco Antonio Valdez e Ismael Villegas.
Violinist Roberto Pinzón “El Chocolate” (ex-Mariachi México de Pepe Villa member and nephew of former Vargas member Juan Pinzón) recommended Jorge to former Vargas director Jesús Rodríguez de Híjar, who invited Jorge to his group. In 2002, Jorge moved to Mexico City, where for nearly two years he played in Rodríguez de Híjar’s renowned Mariachi de América. Don Jesús introduced Jorge to the legendary Miguel Martínez, who was Jorge’s trumpet teacher during his tenure with Mariachi de América.
Mariachi San Francisco en 2011
Fondo: Osvaldo Mendoza, Óscar Arellano, Fernando Torres, Salvador Andrade, Gilberto Aguirre y Francisco Casasola.
Frente: Jaciel Rivera, Jorge Aguayo, Simón Casasola, Luis Casasola y Simón Cassola hijo.
In 2003, Aguayo moved back to his home town of Nochistlán, where for the next two years he played with Mariachi Internacional Los Pérez, a group of great regional fame. During that period he met famous trumpeter Juan Manuel Arpero, with whom he has taken many master classes. In 2006, he returned to Guadalajara, where he spent the next six years as a member of the well-known local Mariachi San Francisco. In 2012, Óscar Arellano (currently with Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán) recommended him to Mariachi Internacional de México, the distinguished house band at Pancho Villa’s Restaurant in Fontana, California, where Jorge ended up working through 2015.
Mariachi Internacional de México in 2014
Back row: Jorge Aguayo, José Manuel Ramírez, Francisco Ramos, Diego Arellano and Timoteo González.
Front row: Fernando Velásquez, Francisco Ramos, Hipólito Puentes, Óscar Arellano, Javier Jáuregui, Ricardo Cisneros ad Mauricio González.
Back when Carlos Martínez was still with Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán, Jorge played on a series of Vicente Fernández recordings that Carlos arranged, and Martínez became an admirer of his trumpet playing. In 2015, now as musical director of Mariachi Vargas, Carlos invited Jorge to audition for Vargas. Aguayo was accepted, and on January 7, 2016, he played his first concert as a member of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.
With Vicente and Alejandro Fernández
Santiago Muñoz, director of Mariachi Los Pérez, offers the following testimony:
My wife is Jorge’s sister, and we had the pleasure of having him live with us in Nochistlán when he was about 15 years old. Back then, he worked al talón with Los Gavilanes, a modest group directed by a man named Clemente Ramírez, better known by the nickname of “El Marabasco.” Almost all of us musicians in Nochistlán got our start playing with him. Jorge had just started working as a mariachi musician, and like all of us when we start out, he had a certain degree of insecurity.
One day Jorge asked me: “Listen, Chago, how do I go about learning the mariachi style?” My answer to him was: “Listen to lots of Mariachi Vargas recordings from the era of Miguel Martínez, Cipriano Silva and Crescencio Hernández. They’re the best models to follow.” And from then on, he started to listen to those records and capture that style, which for me is the most authentic.”
With Crescencio “Chencho” Hernández.
Years later, when he left the group led by “La Hormiga” (Jesús Rodríguez de Híjar), we invited him to join Mariachi Los Pérez. By that time, Jorge was playing really well. With us, he formed a duo with Martín Díaz, a great trumpet player we have in our group. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but from my perspective, the combination of Martín and Jorge was one of the greatest mariachi trumpet duets I’ve ever heard.
In terms of character, I’ve met very few people as noble as Jorge. Very few band members are willing to work as a team the way Jorge does, in a musical give-and-take with no trace of envy. He’s an excellent musician and a fine person — and I’m not just saying this because he’s my brother-in-law!
“Every time I’ve left one group to join another,” Jorge comments, “it’s been in the interest of progress and to become a better musician. I’ve been with a lot of groups, but Vargas is quite different from any other mariachi I’ve ever played with. The way the public treats you and pays attention to every detail of your performance is something I’ve never previously experienced.” When asked about his plans for the future, Jorge replied, “My goal has always been to perform to the best of my ability, and I hope to remain with Vargas for many years to come.”
Jorge has been married to Nochistlán native Hilda María Vargas since 2003. The couple resides in Guadalajara with their three children: Melanie (11), Ximena (5) and Jorge, Jr. (one month). Jorge commutes to Mexico City for his commitments with Mariachi Vargas.
Recent photo with don Rubén Fuentes, Gustavo Alvarado y Eduardo Cerna.
When you see Jorge Aguayo at this year’s Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, be sure to go up and introduce yourself and give him a warm Texas welcome!
Recordings featuring Jorge Aguayo
With mariachi groups
Mariachi de América Una Nueva Generación (2002)
Mariachi Internacional Los Pérez 61 Aniversario (2004)
Mariachi San Francisco En Evolución (2011)
Mariachi Internacional de México Si Volviera a Nacer (2012)
Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán Cuando Suena el Mariachi, el Mundo Canta (2016)