In the United States, mariachi music represents an important symbol of cultural identity and provides an essential form of entertainment for multiple audiences, generations and socioeconomic levels. Mass media exposure in both English- and Spanish-language television reality shows and movies contributes significantly to the growth of mariachi music programs. Mariachi groups that perform as featured artists, as well as those who accompany singers and perform with symphony orchestras and opera companies, also contribute to the popularity of this music. As the proficiency level of mariachi musicians and vocalists skyrockets, opportunities in the entertainment industry continue to expand. Being that the U.S. Hispanic population is expected to triple by 2050, we can expect doors to continue to open for mariachi musicians and vocalists. As mariachi artists, it is our responsibility to continue perfecting our art form to be prepared for these opportunities as they arrive.
Projections for the Future of Mariachi Music in the U.S.
Sebastien de la Cruz competed in the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza several years then went on to compete on ABC’s America’s Got Talent where he climbed to the top 10 finalists on season 12. He later sang the National Athem for the San Antonio Spurs during the NBA finals and then landed a role on Eva Longoria’s Telenovela sitcom on NBC. Sebastien’s appearance on America’s Got Talent opened many doors for young Hispanic artists on both English and Spanish language television reality shows.
Vanessa Cerda Alonso was selected as the “Best Mariachi Vocalist in the U.S.” in 1999. In 2011, she was invited to be part of the cast for the Houston Grand Opera’s (HGO), mariachi opera, Cruza la cara de la luna (To Cross the Face of the Moon). She returned for HGO’s production of El Pasado Nunca se Termina.
Jackelyn Barrera from Roma, Texas was selected as the “Best Mariachi Vocalist in the U.S.” in 2014. Prior to that, she was selected as a finalist on La Voz Kids where she sang on the national television Spanish language Telemundo network.
Sebastien de la Cruz performed as a cast member of the Houston Grand Opera’s El Pasado Nunca se Termina.