There’s much going on during the month of April in the world of mariachi music! Take your pick — mariachis with symphonies, mariachis with operas, or mariachi festivals. There are many choices on our plate today, thanks to a growing number of collaborations between various organizations and mariachi artists throughout the country. Here are my top three picks for this month:
The late, great Nati Cano
It’s been quite some time since I attended the Tucson International Mariachi Conference, but La Frontera Center is celebrating its 33rd anniversary this year with a concert featuring Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano and Mariachi Aztlán from UTPA, so maybe I’d better go! Here are the details:
This four-day music festival and conference runs from April 8-11. The music conference kicks off with a series of mariachi events including three days of student workshops and performances. The Student Showcase Concert will include more than 250 elementary, middle school, high school, and college mariachi and folklórico dance students from around the United States, and will be held on Thursday, April 9.
The Tucson conference culminates with a grand concert on Friday, April 10, and a Fiesta de Garibaldi, an all-day festival of music and dance, on Saturday, April 11. The Espectacular concert will be a celebration of the life and music of mariachi legend Nati Cano, and a tribute to his memory. Cano’s band, Los Angeles-based Mariachi Los Camperos, will headline the concert. Joining the Camperos on stage will be Mariachi Aztlán, the award-winning group from the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA), at Edinburg.
Student Showcase and Fiesta de Garibaldi tickets can be purchased online from La Frontera. Saturday’s Espectacular tickets are only sold through Casino del Sol Resort. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Children’s Services at La Frontera Center.
And if Texas is more in your neck of the woods, join us in San Antonio for the Fiesta Pops concert, where you’ll see our little “Charro de Oro,” Sebastien de la Cruz, performing with Mariachi Campanas de América and the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra during San Antonio’s biggest party — Fiesta Week. The concert will be held at the Tobin Center from April 17-19. Sebastien has just returned from Chicago, where he performed with the Chicago Lyric Opera in El Pasado Nunca Termina, and he’s had quite a busy schedule! It’s not too often we get to see little Sebastien — who’s not quite so little anymore — performing in our home town. If you want to remember how talented he already was as a little boy, check out this 2010 video him singing on America’s Got Talent. Fiesta Pops is always one of my favorite events to attend during Fiesta Week. I always enjoy seeing Sebastien, Campanas, the Guadalupe Dance Company’s ballet folklórico, and, of course, the San Antonio Symphony. And seeing it all at a handsome venue like the Tobin makes for an extra treat! Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased online from the Tobin Center.
My third pick for the month is Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, Sebastien de la Cruz, and Vanessa Cerda Alonso, all three of whom will perform in Pepe Martínez’s latest mariachi opera El Pasado Nunca se Termina, in San Diego, California — one of my all-time favorite U.S. cities. If you missed the opera’s debut in the windy city (Chicago), hop on over to San Diego April 25th for what I’m sure will be a fabulous show. Tickets can be purchased from the San Diego Opera. Or if you’re closer to the Texas market, as I am, you can always catch this same show in Houston at Wortham Center’s Brown Theater on May 13, 16, or 17. I’ll be at the May 16 performance, so if you plan to attend, let me know and let’s see if we can connect while we’re there. Uh-oh! I’m jumping ahead of myself…
Well, those are my top three U.S. mariachi events for April. Hope you enjoy the month, and if you do attend any one of these events, please comment at the bottom of this blog and share your thoughts and experiences with our readers. For my top picks for the month of May, stand by for our May mariachimusic.com newsletter.