The 21st Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is set for November 15-21 in San Antonio, Texas. The Extravaganza serves host to nearly a dozen events that take place throughout the city. It holds the title as the largest and longest running mariachi music festival and conference in Texas, and is among the most renowned worldwide. Exhilarating performances, fierce competitions, and prestigious awards and recognitions are all part of this inspiring ‘must attend’ seven-day event.
This year’s lineup includes highly accomplished artists from both the U.S. and Mexico who will perform in concert on Saturday, November 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lila Cockrell Theatre. Headliners include the world-renown Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán and opening acts like Mexican recording artist Azucena de la Torre, San Antonio’s very own Mariachi Los Caporales, and winners of the world’s largest mariachi group and vocal competitions. Expect breathtaking performances from start to finish, each presented with an elegance and perfection that will far exceed your greatest expectations.
Taking place prior to the Mariachi Vargas concert will be three major national mariachi competitions: Mariachi Group Competitions, Mariachi Vocal Competitions, and the Original Mariachi Songwriting Competition. Competitive mariachi groups will perform on Friday, November 20 at the Lila Cockrell Theatre starting at 5 p.m. The following day, Saturday, November 21, the 42 finalists of the National Mariachi Vocal Competitions will offer impressive vocal performances. Lastly, the Original Songwriting Competition will take place on Thursday, November 19 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
The Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza has earned a worldwide reputation for promoting mariachi music, preserving its tradition, and providing a platform for mariachi artists to flourish. Event producer Cynthia Muñoz has been at the helm since 1995, and produces this show with the support of sponsors such as Sprint, Valero, La Prensa, KEDA radio, and Azteca San Antonio television. “The Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is much more than a showcase of the greatest mariachi music in the world,” says Muñoz. “It’s a deep cultural expression that represents the heart and soul of Mexican and Mexican-American communities in the U.S., and an opportunity to showcase the very best of Latino culture.”
The event also serves as an opportunity to honor and recognize artists who have made significant contributions to the mariachi music genre. This year’s honorees include the world’s greatest mariachi, one of its former members, and a rising star. Rigoberto Mercado, who played trumpet for Mariachi Vargas for 25 years, will be honored and recognized on Wednesday, November 18 at Hemisphere Plaza’s Mexican Cultural Institute, at 7 p.m. Then, during the main concert on Saturday, November 21, the San Antonio-Mexico Friendship Council will pay special recognition to Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán for the group’s important contributions to the arts. And finally, a special award of recognition will be presented on Sunday, November 15 to Houston-based Virginia Stille for her outstanding representation of mariachi artists on Univisión’s international television reality show Va Por Ti, where she climbed to the position of top-four finalist in 2014.
A complete listing of the schedule of events is available on mariachimusic.com. Tickets for the Mariachi Vargas Concert can be purchased at ticketmaster.com. Tickets for the national mariachi group and vocal competitions can be purchased at the Lila Cockrell Theatre the day of the event. Many of these events are free and open to the public. For additional information, please call 210-225-3353.
The 21st Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is an MPR production.