Leticia Soto retains post as director of Garibaldi school
In the last issue of Mariachismes, we reported on Prof. Leticia Soto and the controversy over her being asked to resign as director of the Escuela de Mariachi Ollin Yoliztli en Garibaldi. Popular support for her turned out to be significant, as the many who wrote letters on her behalf included students, teachers, and members of the school’s advisory council; mariachis Vargas, México, and de América; and the Mexico City and Guadalajara mariachi unions.
In a letter dated August 19, 2014 and addressed to the Advisory Council of the Escuela de Mariachi Ollin Yoliztli, Mexico’s Secretariat of Culture acknowledged the desires of the council and the academic, artistic and social community in question, and affirmed—ironically—that at no time has the Mexico City Secretary of Culture ever asked for the resignation of Prof. Leticia Soto Flores. As of the present moment, she remains the school’s director. We hope that Leticia continues to do the magnificent job she’s been doing of administrating the world’s most important mariachi academy. Mariachimusic.com will keep you informed of any changes in this situation.
The Mariachi Channel launches Internet radio station
The Mariachi Channel was founded in 2009 by Arturo Gastelum of San Francisco, California. The original purpose of this YouTube channel was to showcase videos from his Fiesta de Mariachi productions. Since then, The Mariachi Channel has grown steadily in content and popularity. About three months ago, Gastelum launched an Internet radio station of the same name that streams pure mariachi music 24 hours a day. This is great news for mariachi fans, since mariachi music is only sporadically played on most Spanish-language radio stations today. According to Arturo, the programming goal of this station is to play 30% classic mariachi recordings and 70% new material. Check out this Internet radio feature of The Mariachi Channel at www.themariachichannel.com.
Angélica Vargas competes in La Academia program
Congratulations to eleven-year-old Angélica Vargas (daughter of Manuelito of Mariachi Vargas) who is currently one of 20 contestants in TV Azteca’s reality talent show La Academia. This Sunday evening’s program will feature the first live concert of the season. Don’t forget to vote for Angélica, and to leave likes and comments for her on La Academia’s Facebook page!
Musician-poet dedicates poem to Carlos Martínez
By all accounts, Carlos Martínez is doing a magnificent job as Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán’s new musical director. In recent months, he’s been rehearsing the group intensively, mounting new arrangements and polishing up existing repertory. This week they are in Guadalajara, where, for the first time as a Mariachi Vargas member, Carlos will participate in the Encuentro Internacional del Mariachi. There, the group will debut three new arrangements by Carlos: “Todo Cambió,” “Darte un Beso,” and “Llorando Por Dentro.”
Carlos Martínez and Mario Govea
As a token of admiration, musician-poet Mario Govea of San Luis Potosí recently dedicated a poem to Carlos Martínez in honor of his many talents and accomplishments.
I had the pleasure of accompanying Mario in Plaza Garibaldi over 30 years ago. Govea describes himself as being “enamored by the musical beauty of the mariachi—poetry where the Mexican heart beats to the mariachi’s notes, nurturing the spirit.” He dedicates the following poem, in sonnett form, to our esteemed friend Carlos.
Al maestro Carlos Efrén Martínez Arreguín
En lo alto el viento sopla tan fuerte
Que solo la aptitud tiene invitación.
El éxito no es fruto de la suerte,
Es de virtud, disciplina y corazón.
La influencia divina es regalo de Dios.
Don Carlos Efrén Martínez Arreguín,
Es usted del arte, el heraldo y la voz
En las mágicas cuerdas de su violín.
Es fulgor y bagaje de inspiración,
Sensible soñador, rapsoda que al fin
Mostrará en tierra ideal ser la promesa.
Y sus versos, de mexicana expresión,
Desde hoy serán para México un fortín
De cultura, identidad y grandeza.
J. Mario Govea Mata