Mariachi Vargas will perform in Austin at The Long Center – Dell Hall June 20 as part of the Texas Mariachi Vargas Concert Tour. The long awaited concert is the first time Mariachi Vargas will perform in Austin since March 2006. Fiesta Mart and Goya present the concert to celebrate Mexican traditions through the arts and promote higher education among Hispanic youth.
“Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán is recognized internationally as el mejor mariachi del mundo (the greatest mariachi in the world),” says Dr. Robin Moore, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Texas at Austin. “They are the most highly respected ensemble of its kind and one that has been around since the late nineteenth century,” he added.
Founded in 1897 by Gaspar Vargas, Mariachi Vargas has performed for 112 years and five generations. Their extensive history includes being featured in more than 200 Mexican films and music videos with performances throughout the world including Japan, Prague, Czech Republic, Canada and most recently Spain. Under the direction of Maestro Ruben Fuentes, a classically trained musician, composer and musical arranger, Mariachi Vargas consist of 12 members that make up some of the best voices and musicians in Latin America. Jose “Pepe” Martinez, Sr. is the group’s musical director and a violinist and vocalist who has performed with Mariachi Vargas since 1975. Additional traditional mariachi instruments played by members of Mariachi Vargas include the harp, guitar, vihuela, trumpet and guitarron.
“Mariachi Vargas’ innovations in instrumentation, orchestrational technique, and stage presentation have influenced and inspired countless generations of mariachi performers,” says Dr. Moore. “They set the standard for the mariachi music industry,” he added.
Concert goers can expect to hear songs from their latest recording Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, Mas de 110 años y aguí estamos (more than 110 years and here we are) with popular favorites like “Para Siempre” (a love that last forever) and “Estos Celos” (a song of jealousy) as well as traditional songs that have been played for decades like “Por Amor” (a song about love) and “Urge” (a song about the longing to be with the one you love).
Opening acts for the Mexico City based Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán include Esteban Velasquez from Odessa and Virginia Stille from Houston to be accompanied by the University of Texas – Mariachi Tejas. Both Esteban and Virginia are award winning vocalists who earned their title as the “Best in the U.S.” at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza held annually in San Antonio. The University of Texas Mariachi will perform under the direction of Adolph Ortiz, mariachi director at University of Texas, Butler School of Music, Division of Ethnomusicology.
Tickets to see Mariachi Vargas in concert are available at The Long Center 3M Box Office, www.thelongcenter.org or by calling 512-474-5664.
Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán’s Austin concert is presented by Fiesta Mart and Goya with additional support from the Radisson Hotel and Suites at Town Lake, Azteca America, BMP radio and Latino Magazine. The Mariachi Vargas Texas Tour is a production of San Antonio based MPR. For additional tour dates visit mariachimusic.com or call 210-225-3353 for more information.