On behalf of the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza team, we hope you and your family are well during these tumultuous times throughout the world. It is certain that none of us ever thought we would live to experience a pandemic such as COVID-19, and yet, here we are, living through this horrific outbreak.
Given the bleak circumstances we’re currently facing, the Serenata para las Madres with Steeven Sandoval is canceled. Steeven and his sons, Brian and Isaias, brought us so much joy last May when they performed at the Empire Theatre in San Antonio. Never-the-less, during these upcoming weeks, we want to do our best to share with you some of our favorite videos like Tu Sangre en mi Cuerpo which features Steeven and his sons.
Unfortunately many concerts and events throughout the world have been canceled. The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts has suspended all events through June including the Mariachi Extravaganza Summer Camp scheduled for June 22 – 26. We will miss seeing you all this Summer but don’t despair! We’ll be working throughout the year to ensure that this year’s Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza will be the best ever. Mark your calendars for November 29 – December 5, 2020 for the 26th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza.
This is a very difficult time in our lives and we want to encourage everyone to stay positive, follow the rules and make the best usage of your free time as a result of social distancing. Here are some things you can do during your free time:
1. Record yourself singing a song and upload it to YouTube. Your talents bring joy to many. Send us a link of your video and we’ll be happy to include it on our next email blast.
2. Call up a friend and find out what’s the latest on their playlist. Sebastien De la Cruz likes Tito Torbellino, Jr., Natanael Cano and Junior H. I recently learned about this whole new genre of corridos tumbados from Sebastien and I can honestly say I’m hooked! Vanessa Alonso recently introduced me to this Spanish artist Concha Buika. Love her rendition of “Un Poquita Mas” in this NPR Tiny Desk segment. Who’s at the top of your playlist? Post your favorites as a comment on this blog.
3. Take time to learn something new whether it be developing your social media skills with Yusuf Chowdhury or learning how to cook something new. Yusuf provides FREE online training available anytime!
Clear the clutter. Put your favorite music on to make this tedious task more enjoyable. Listening to great music while your straightening out drawers and clearing the clutter in your closet makes cleaning way more enjoyable! Donate items you don’t want to the Goodwill or Salvation Army.
Take a moment to share your story. I had the pleasure of doing so recently thanks to Dr. Maggie Rivas Rodriguez, Professor, School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Rivas-Rodriguez invited 14 people involved in the San Antonio mariachi music to record their stories as part of the VOCES DE MARIACHI ORAL HISTORY PROJECT. Check it out at VOCES DE MARIACHI CYNTHIA MUNOZ.
Think about writing and/or videotaping your own story by answering these questions. Share a link of your video or write your stories and email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What was your experience growing up?
How did you get started in mariachi music?
Who is your favorite artist?
Who is your greatest inspiration?
Do you have a favorite mariachi song?
What is your role in mariachi music?
How do you feel when you’re on stage performing?
What is your greatest accomplishment in regards to mariachi music?
What do you wear when you perform and how did you acquire this outfit?
What is the future of mariachi music?
Count your blessings. One thing I learned from Opra Winfrey is that she makes time to write down the things she is grateful for on a daily basis. She does this every evening as a reminder of all of the great things that occur daily.
Be creative. My dad is doing a great job of this. He’s made us hand sanitizers with aloe vera and alcohol. My parents grow aloe vera in their backyard so this was a perfect fit for my dad to develop his own concoction. Anybody need hand sanitizer? Just ask! My dad has also been looking at videos on how to make homemade face masks. There’s tons of videos on YouTube but here’s one that I recommend. My mom is knitting blankets and slippers for those in need.
Read, read, read. Read out loud, read the paper, read a book, read anything. It’s so fun to read and sometimes our lives get so busy that we don’t have time to read for fun. Now we do. Share what you’re reading with us by adding a comment on this blog.
Exercise. You can still walk, run, cycle, garden and do yoga while practicing social distancing. These activities are allowed, and, you can do them by yourself or with someone else as long as you maintain 6 feet from one another.
Jam out on Zoom. Do you feel like having a mariachi jam session or practice? Check out Zoom. It’s a fun way to connect with people anywhere in the comfort of your own room. Organize a mariachi session on Zoom and be sure to invite me by including my email on the list so I can tune in! It’s free for as many people for up to 45 minutes!
In the upcoming weeks, we’ll be posting photos and videos from the 25th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza on blogs posted on MariachiMusic.com and our social media platforms. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and stay connected with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Let’s work together to keep the arts alive and lift the spirits in our communities through online music and performances.
Do be extremely careful by practicing social distancing, keeping updated with the news, listening to your local leadership, washing your hands regularly and taking the Coronavirus seriously. We want everyone safe and sound as we get through this worldwide epidemic. Stay home, be safe and feel free to reach out to us anytime. Remember that our health, and the health of our community, is the most important thing right now.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you via phone, email or videos and remember that the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is only 9 months away!