The thirteen-piece Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano performs Saturday, March 5, 2016 at the University of Texas-Río Grande Valley Performing Arts Complex in Edinburg, Texas, as part of FESTIBA. This concert marks the first time the group performs in the Río Grande Valley in more than 20 years.
The show includes songs from their Grammy-nominated album Tradición, Arte y Pasion. Expect original compositions such as “Movimiento,” written by Jesús “Chuy” Guzmán, and standards performed regularly by the group, including “La Morena,” “Los Pollitos” and “España Cañí.”
“Movimiento” follows the legacy of the group’s founding leader, Nati Cano. It’s a challenging joropo that reflects Nati’s contributions, while moving forward to the future and the ensemble’s current fifth generation (since 2002). The group delineates its previous generations as follows: first generation (1961-1970), second generation (1971-1980), third generation (1981-1990) and fourth generation (1991-2001).
Exciting events are in the works for Mariachi Los Camperos in 2016, including shows in Ensenada, Baja California (March 20), Guadalajara, Jalisco (August 2-September 4) and Greensboro, North Carolina (September 9-11). The group will perform a Día de los Muertos-themed concert with Lila Downs in Chicago, Illinois (October 28), but the real highlight for the year is their performance in Havana, Cuba (September 16). This will mark the first time any U.S.-based mariachi group has performed in Cuba.
Mariachi Los Camperos also plans a reopening of La Fonda Restaurant. It was originally founded by Nati Cano on April 12, 1969, and was the first U.S. restaurant to have a house band that presented mariachi music as a dignified art form. It was known as a place where people felt welcomed, and a popular hangout for various political organizations that promoted Mexican and Mexican American social initiatives. The official grand re-opening of La Fonda is scheduled for Wednesday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. The group will perform three nightly one-hour shows there starting March 10, every Thursday through Sunday, at 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30 p.m.
Current members of Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano include:
Raúl “Jr.” Cuéllar—San Antonio, Texas—violin
Julio Hernández—San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas—violin
Alfredo Gómez—Teocaltiche, Jalisco—violin
Roberto López—San Francisco, California—violin
Juan Rodríguez—Tlaltenango, Zacatecas—violin
Jesús “Chuy” Guzmán—San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora—violin/director
Ricardo Ramos—Ajijic, Jalisco—trumpet
Fernando Ortiz—Guadalajara, Jalisco—trumpet
Fernando Velásquez—Guadalajara, Jalisco—trumpet
Sergio “Checo” Alonso—Sylmar, California—harp
Juan Jiménez—Ensenada, Baja California—guitarrón
Germán López—Mascota, Jalisco—vihuela
Jonathan Palomar—Mexico City—guitar
Tickets for the March 5, 2016 show can be purchased at the entrance of the University of Texas-Río Grande Valley’s Performing Arts Complex.