Mariachi Vargas’ upcoming performances in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois will include Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza winners as opening acts. Mariachi Nuevo Santander from Roma High School in Roma, Texas will open for Mariachi Vargas on Friday, Feb. 14 at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor and Kaylee Bucio from West Jordan, Utah will open for Mariachi Vargas at the Chicago Symphony Center in Chicago on Feb. 15.
At the tender age of 8 years old, Kaylee Bucio was named National Grand Champion Vocal Winner during the most competitive mariachi vocal competition in the U.S – the 25th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio, Texas. Kaylee competed against 42 vocalists from elementary to college age from across the country with the vocally challenging song Granada. She impressed members of the world renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán who served as judges, and as a result, will represent the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in 2020.
Kaylee is no stranger to the spotlight and is a previous participant in Access Broadway where she competed at the regional level in Las Vegas in 2019. She was selected as the Rising Star award recipient in her category and took home Platinum in all categories with My Heart Will Go On from Titanic, Granada and the Connie Francis classic Where the Boys Are. Kaylee performed in New York City at the Play Station Theatre on Broadway as a result of winning at the regional level. Kaylee has also performed in her home town of Salt Lake City, Utah at the Tabernacle on Temple Square for New Year’s Eve in 2019 and opened for one of Mexico’s most popular tropical orchestras, La Sonora Santanera as a result of winning a talent contest where she sang La Negra Tiene Tumbao.
Kaylee recognizes what it takes to be a winner and practices every day. She attributes her success not only to her natural musical ability but also to her strong family support system and the help of her vocal coach of 4 years – Martha Chavez. “Kaylee has a great ear, perfect pitch, great stage presence and excellent memorization,” says Martha. “She knows over 60 songs which is impressive for an 8-year-old. Most often I see parents pushing their kids to learn music but in Kaylee’s case, she pushes her parents to take her to voice lessons. Kaylee’s family has supported her greatly by making sacrifices to help her reach her dreams,” she adds.
Kaylee has two singles on iTunes: Pollo Aventurero and Granada. The songs were arranged and recorded by Manuel Garza in Eagle Pass, Texas and her vocals were recorded in Murray, Utah by Martha Chavez. Her performance repertoire is very versatile and includes pop, theatre and classical along with traditional mariachi songs like Los Laureles, La Llorona, Canción Mexicana and Aires del Mayab.
Kaylee will open for Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán on Saturday, February 15 at the Chicago Symphony Center Orchestra Hall at 7:30 p.m. She will be accompanied by the Chicago Mariachi Project Mariachi Academy. Tickets are available at CSO.org.
Thanks to a collaborative initiative between the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza and UMS (University Musical Society), Mariachi Nuevo Santander will perform at the Hill Auditorium on Friday, February 14 pror to Mariachi Vargas. The effort to bring an award-winning Mariachi group from the Extravaganza has been in the works for a very long time. We’re thrilled that with the help of UMS, this has become a reality with Mariachi Nuevo Santander. Tickets are available at UMS.org
Mariachi Nuevo Santander placed first for the 7th time in the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza high school group competition in December. This was no easy feat given the stiff competition from mariachi groups from throughout the U.S. Mariachi Nuevo Santander was selected by judges made up of members of the world’s preeminent Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.
Mariachi Nuevo Santander appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent Season 12 where they recorded in Pasadena, California and at the Universal Studios in Los Angeles in 2017. They made it to the second round in the judges cut and helped put Roma on the map nationally while bringing greater awareness to mariachi music globally. The group was the focus of a segment on ABC’s World News Tonight in 2002 and several of their lead vocalists have appeared on international television reality shows including Telemundo’s La Voz Kids and TV Azteca’s La Voz Mexico.
Mariachi Nuevo Santander has recorded two albums with the 20th Anniversary, Heart, Pride & Passion album released in 2014 and the 25th Aniversario, Corazón Orgullo y Tradición album recorded in 2018. The group recently completed it’s third album with plans to release it in March. The album is titled Sangre Mariachera with 11 tracks including the groups award-winning performance from the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. The album will have traditional mariachi rhythms from rancheras to sones with songs featuring original arrangements by Eloy Garza, whose background as a mariachi musician with Mariachi Nuevo Santander and Mariachi Sol de Mexico has served as the foundation of the groups success. Eloy has also arranged songs recorded by well known Mexican artists like Vicente Fernandez, Alejandro Fernandez and Jose Jose for the new album.
Mariachi Nuevo Santander has performed throughout the U.S. in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, California, Ashland, Oregon and Atlanta, Georgia.
Note: Roma High School has also produced 4 Grand Champion Vocal Winners from the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. They are Mayra Guerra (2002), Karenn Lazo (2010), Jackelyn Barrera (2014) and Alexa Posas (2015). The later three have all performed at the prestigious Hill Auditorium thanks to the support of UMS. Additional accolades include Jackelyn Barrera’s appearance on La Voz Kids in 2015, Clyde Guerra’s appearance on La Voz Mexico in 2019 and Francisco Garcia’s appearance on La Voz Kids in 2016 and Tengo Talento Mucho Talento in 2019. Francisco was also selected through at national search to play the role of Daniel in the Ft. Worth Opera’s El Pasado Nunca se Termina in May 2019.
Be sure to follow Mariachi Nuevo Santander and Kaylee Bucio during their travels to Ann Arbor and Chicago on the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza FaceBook page and @mariachimusic on Instagram.