On November 17, 2015, RIGOBERTO ALFARO was officially named director of the Escuela de Mariachi Ollin Yoliztli Garibaldi, in Mexico City. The school’s previous director, Leticia Soto, who guided that institution admirably through its tumultuous first three years of existence, remains on the faculty as professor of music history.
When asked what his immediate plans are as director, Alfaro told MariachiMusic.com, “My only ambition is the betterment of mariachi music. I plan to put all my efforts into raising the bar of our music as high as it will go — to help elevate it to the lofty height where it belongs,” he said.
Maestro Alfaro recently returned from Baja California, where the Rosarito International Mariachi & Folklórico Festival paid homage to him. One of his next projects is a CD tribute to Joan Sebastian with Mariachi Divas.
Maestro Rigoberto wanted us to know that his younger brother, violinist Javier Alfaro, is now fully recovered from his nearly fatal accident, and is playing frequently on recording sessions, his primary activity. Earlier this year, Javier spent several months in the hospital after a cement roof collapsed upon him.
Mexico’s Chapala region will hold its first mariachi festival on January 9-10, 2016. Lake Chapala, Mexico’s largest body of fresh water, is located about an hour’s drive from Guadalajara. Performing groups include Mariachi Internacional Guadalajara and Mariachi Estrellas de Chula Vista, featuring special guest Pedro Rey. Contact Mark Fogelquist at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Last September, Mariachi Juvenil Tecalitlán spent 21 days in Brazil, performing and giving workshops in the cities of Natal, Sorocaba, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro. Members of Mexico City-based Juvenil Tecalitlán had given workshops in that country several times previously, but this is the first time the full group had gone. Brazil is a new frontier where mariachi music is slowly gaining ground. “Most people in Brazil don’t even know what a mariachi is,” remarked the group’s leader, Marco Antonio de Santiago. “You could say we’re conquering the country with our music.”