San Antonio serves host to the largest and longest-running mariachi music festival in the United States — the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. Each year this festival attracts over 1,000 mariachi musicians and vocalists from throughout the U.S. and Mexico, and more than 10,000 participants over a seven-day period. Among the many musicians that take part in this festival are members of San Antonio’s very own Mariachi Flor de Jalisco, performing under the musical direction of Debra Torres. The group will represent San Antonio and the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in Toronto, Canada from April 26 – May 1, in celebration of Air Canada’s new daily nonstop flight service between these two cities.
George Strait and Debra Torres
Since its inception in 2011, the talented, all-female Mariachi Flor de Jalisco has entertained numerous high-profile dignitaries and celebrities, including actress, producer and director Eva Longoria, Namibian prime minister Hage Geingob, popular Japanese mascot Kumamon, British heavy metal band Iron Maiden and country music icon George Strait. They perform often at San Antonio Spurs games and are deeply intertwined into the fabric of San Antonio culture.
Mariachi music can be enjoyed almost anywhere one visits in San Antonio, including Market Square, Mexican restaurants, the popular River Walk and at family gatherings and celebrations such as weddings, quinceañeras, birthday parties and anniversaries. Mariachi Flor de Jalisco has performed at many of these locations as well as at popular local events like Fiesta Week, the Tejano Music Awards, Day of the Dead Celebrations at La Villita, Market Square Festivities, San Antonio Cocktail Conferences and movie premieres at the Mission Drive-In.
With bassist Steve Harris of Iron Maiden
Mariachi Flor de Jalisco are key players in the annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, where they take part in community presentations and assist with mariachi instrumental and vocal workshops, as well as the National Mariachi Group and Vocal Competitions. Several of Flor de Jalisco’s members assist MPR with the entire production that consists of a grand finale concert featuring the world’s greatest Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán and winners of the competitions. Currently, the members are gearing up for the 23rd Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, to be held from November 26 – December 2 at San Antonio’s Lila Cockrell Theatre.
Mariachi Flor de Jalisco’s Toronto trip will include community performances, VIP receptions and press conferences. Visit mariachimusic.com for more information.