At age 5, Fernando had already decided he wanted to be a musician, and by age 8 he was studying solfege and music theory. He continued taking private trumpet lessons until age 13, when his family moved to Ciudad Juárez. There he played with his first ensemble, Mariachi Colima, a group formed by his father. Eight years later, in 1996, he came back to Guadalajara, where he played for three years with local mariachi Los Monarcas and two years with Los Toritos.
After a brief stint in Los Angeles with Mariachi Tlaquepaque, Fernando returned to Guadalajara in 2000, where he played first with Mariachi Internacional Guadalajara, and then Mariachi San Francisco. His next stay in California was his longest, where he played with mariachis Imperial de México (2004), Sol de México (2004-07), Internacional de México (2007-08), and Los Camperos (2008). In June of 2008, Fernando joined Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán as the group’s third trumpet player. He will celebrate his 5th year anniversary with the group in December.
Since joining Vargas, Fernando observes, he has become more versatile, spontaneous, and creative. His advice to aspiring musicians is that they be honest with themselves about their musical shortcomings, and strive to overcome them. Fernando cites trumpeter Miguel Martínez as his greatest influence. “The classic Mariachi Vargas recordings are the model to follow — they’re both the school and the teacher.” Playing with Vargas has given Fernando great satisfaction. “My lifelong goal was to play with Mariachi Vargas, and the opportunity finally arrived.”