Andrés González and Alberto Alfaro of Mariachi Vargas
Award-winning groups and vocalists from the Austin area, including Texas State University’s Mariachi Nueva Generación and Kyle, Texas native William “Carlton” Gálvez, will open for el mejor mariachi del mundo on June 7 at Austin’s Long Center.
Mariachi Nueva Generación
Mariachi Nueva Generación is one of the top two mariachi ensembles among colleges and universities nationwide, and William was selected as “Best Mariachi Vocalist in the U.S.” during the 2013 Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio. He recently sang his award-winning rendition of “Júrame” at the Majestic Theater during the San Antonio Symphony’s Fiesta Pops concert, in a performance San Antonio Express-News music critic Héctor Saldaña described as a “stun-gun moment.”
William “Carlton” Gálvez
Eleven-year-old singing prodigy Angélica Vargas will make a special guest appearance. Born in San Antonio of Mexican parents, Angélica made her debut at age six as a contestant in the 2009 Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza vocal competition, where she won first place in her category. After numerous local performances and appearances in two films, she competed in Televisa’s contest Lo Que Más Quieres, where she sang a duet with her father, Manuel Alcaraz Vargas of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, winning a trip to Hawaii. At this Austin concert, Angélica will officially debut her first recording, the self-titled CD Angélica Vargas.
Accompanying William and Angélica is San Antonio’s very own Mariachi Azteca de América, directed by arranger/composer/violinist/vocalist Gino Rivera. Over its past eight years of existence, the group has developed a reputation for excellence and originality. Vocalists they have accompanied include Aída Cuevas, Alberto Ángel “El Cuervo,” Plácido Domingo, Pablo Montero, and Micheal Salgado. Mariachi Azteca will perform the title track from their recent CD, Dame un Minuto, along with other original material. “Dame un Minuto” won a prize in the 2012 Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Songwriting Competition.
This will be Mariachi Vargas’ very first Texas performance under the leadership of its new musical director, Carlos Martínez. Carlos is a nephew of the ensemble’s previous musical director, José “Pepe” Martínez, and, until recently, was musical director of Guadalajara’s acclaimed Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán. The official Mariachi Vargas chronology divides the group’s history into five generations: first (1898-1930), second (1931-1949), third (1950-1993), fourth (1994-2002), and fifth (2003-2014). This concert celebrates the inauguration of the group’s sixth generation (2014-).
Mariachi Vargas’ fan base spans the globe. From Canada to Argentina, from Japan to Indonesia, from Spain to the Czech Republic, their music is popular throughout the world, and their recordings include more than 200 solo albums. Their latest CD, 115 Aniversario, pays tribute to the group’s current anniversary and includes music by well known songwriters like Emilio Estefan, Rubén Fuentes, Juan Gabriel, Juan Luis Guerra, Joan Sebastian, Juan Manuel Serrat, and Marco Antonio Solís.
Event sponsors include Univisión 62, Casa García’s, Buchanan’s, Technology Capital Corporation, Performance Food Service, El Mundo newspaper, and MariachiMusic.com.
Tickets are available at the Long Center 3M Box Office, or by phone at (512) 474-5664.
Current members of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán
Gilberto Aguirre—vihuela (since 2013)
Alberto Alfaro—violin/vocals (since 2000)
Gustavo Alvarado—trumpet/vocals (since 1991)
Miguel Ángel Barrón—violin/vocals (since 2011)
Enrique de Santiago—guitarrón (since 1989)
Andrés González—violin/vocals (since 2007)
Carlos Martínez—violin/vocals/musical director (since 2014)
Daniel Martínez—violin/vocals (since 1985)
Julio Martínez—harp (since 1996)
José “Pepe” Martínez Jr.—violin/vocals (since 1993)
Federico Torres—trumpet/group coordinator (since 1966)
Arturo Vargas—guitar/vocals (since 2002)
Fernando Velásquez—trumpet/vocals (since 2007)
Rubén Fuentes—violinist/arranger/producer/general director
José “Pepe” Martínez Sr.—violinist/vocalist/arranger/musical director