The 24th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is less than three weeks away, and more than one thousand mariachi directors, musicians and instructors are confirmed to participate in what is expected to be another class-act, top-rated, mariachi music festival.
The National Vocal Competition will be intense as 43 vocalists from 22 cities and 32 schools, will be vying for the National Grand Champion Vocalist title on Friday, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. at the Lila Cockrell Theatre.
On Saturday, Nov. 17, at 3:30 p.m., the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Group competition will take place at the Lila Cockrell Theatre. Be prepared to be blown away by some of the best mariachi youth talent in the United States!
Education plays a major role in the Extravaganza, and we are elated to announce that mariachi directors from a prestigious list of colleges and universities with mariachi music programs will be participating in this year’s event.
“Involvement from colleges and universities with mariachi music programs is extremely important to us at the Extravaganza as it helps us to reinforce the key message that higher education is a priority for our youth,” says Cynthia Muñoz producer of the 24th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza and President of Muñoz Public Relations.
Monica Fogelquist from The University of Texas- Austin, Dr. Veronica Lopez from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and Alicia Covarrubias from San Antonio College are will be on hand along with Dr. Dahlia Guerra and Frank Loera from the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). New to the scene will be Dr. Stan Renard, assistant professor of Music Marketing for the Department of Music at University of Texas-San Antonio. These collegiate representatives will be introduced on Saturday, November 17 at the opening of the mariachi workshops.
“We see these individuals as leaders in mariachi music and it’s important that participants of the Extravaganza have the opportunity to meet them, learn about their specific programs and build relationships that can help them reach their educational goals,” added Cynthia.
Mariachi music workshop instructors and competition judges are lined up, and include some of the most reputable mariachi musicians in the genre along with special guests and newcomers to the Extravaganza. This year we are proud to announce instructors representing some of the most accomplished mariachi groups in the world will be teaching in the workshops. Mariachi Vargas members as well as individuals who have worked with groups such as Mariachi Sol de Mexico, Mariachi Cobre and Mariachi America de Jesus Rodriguez de Hijar will be on hand along with individuals from Texas based groups such as Mariachi Los Caporales, Mariachi Azteca de America and Mariachi Aztlán.
Jonathan Palomar, guitarist and vocalist for Mariachi Vargas, carries on a legacy left behind by his father, former guitarist for Mariachi Vargas: Rafael Palomar. Jonathan will be teaching vocal workshops during the Extravaganza.
Longtime Mariachi Vargas member, (almost 30 years!) and heartbeat of the group, guitarron maestro Enrique de Santiago will be teaching advanced guitarron students at workshops. He’s one of the most esteemed, if not the most renowned, guitarrón player in the world, so this is a prime opportunity for students of the instrument to learn from the very best of this generation.
Andrés Gonzalez, vocalist and violinist of Mariachi Vargas captivates audiences with his expertise on his instrument and and his ability to captivate audiences with his stage presence. He will be leading the advanced violin workshops.
Trumpet player Jorge Aguayo will be joining us from Mariachi Vargas. Jorge will be sharing his knowledge while teaching the advanced trumpet students.
Newcomers to the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza are individuals who are very beloved in the Mariachi scene:
Felipe “Píke” Romero II, will be present to teach advanced armonia workshops on vihuela. Pike is a former vihuelista and vocalist for Mariachi Sol de Mexico. He now works independently arranging and composing original music. He will also assist in providing feedback to groups and vocalists during the competitions.
Two-time Grammy winner Alberto Jimenez Maeda, or “Beto,” has had several prestigious groups under his musical direction and is well respected in the mariachi community. From 1995-2005, he served as director for Mariachi de America de Jesús Rodriguez de Hijar and from 2006-2011, he worked with Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea. Beto will be leading the intermediate violin workshops, and critiquing during the competitions.
Ivan Velasco, A.K.A. “Maestro,” is a world renowned Mexican folk harpist. He is unmatched in his dexterity, skill and virtuosity, and recently was named director of the Mariachi de la Universidad de Veracrúz, located in Xalapa, Veracruz, México. Ivan will be working with harpists of all levels during the workshops.
Arturo Pasalagua from Mariachi Cobre and Mariachi de America has returned to San Antonio and will be teaching advanced violin workshops at the Extravaganza this year. Arturo will also be on hand to critique during the competitions.
Registration to participate in the workshops is closed however individuals or groups may still purchase wristbands to attend the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Group and Vocal Competitions. Tickets to see competition winners and el mejor mariachi del mundo Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán are available at Ticketmaster.com.
We love hearing from individuals so if you have questions, please give us a call at (210) 225-3353.