This is the first of a series of profiles written by Jonathan Clark on current members of Mariachi Vargas. Profiles will be posted on Mariachimusic.com blogs beginning today and leading up to the 19th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Dec. 1-7.
Arturo Vargas was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, to a large family steeped in the mariachi tradition. He counts over 40 mariachi musicians among his immediate kin. When he was a little over a year old, his family moved to Mexico City, where his father worked in Plaza Garibaldi. Arturo began his career as a ranchera singer at age 7. By the time he was 10 years old, he had performed on over 100 television programs. From age 14, he alternated solo performances with daily work as a mariachi musician, where he played either guitar or violin.
As a vocal soloist, Arturo has participated in many song festivals and competitions in Mexico and abroad, often winning first place, including México Lindo y Querido (Mexico, 1990) Valores Juveniles Bacardí (Mexico, 1992), OTI Internacional (Spain, 1993) Golden Stag (Romania, 1994) and Sábado Gigante (2000, USA), and Viña del Mar (Chile, 2001). After belonging to some 20 different mariachi groups, Arturo joined Mariachi de América de Jesús Rodríguez de Híjar, where he remained for five years. Since 2002, he has been a member of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.
Arturo has always tried to cultivate a vocal style uniquely his own, and his latest solo CD, Sentimientos, demonstrates this. As a member of the greatest mariachi in the world, he is grateful to Mariachi Vargas — and above all, Rubén Fuentes — for giving him the opportunity to do projects like this while remaining a member of El Mejor Mariachi del Mundo.