In 1995, several years after the original mariachi conference had ceased to exist, publicist and former mariachi musician Cynthia Muñoz started a new chapter in San Antonio’s mariachi festival history when she instituted the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. Founded with the explicit mission of promoting and presenting world-class mariachi artists and preserving the cultural traditions of Hispanic heritage, today the Extravaganza is the largest and longest-running mariachi music festival in Texas and one of the most important events of its kind in the world. Each year, more than a dozen mariachi-related events are held during this seven-day festival, culminating in a gala concert that features award-winning mariachi groups and vocalists and the internationally renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. The event draws thousands of people from throughout the U.S. who come together to proudly celebrate this music and culture — and enjoy performances from the best in the world.
Mariachi Extravaganza Concert
Since its inception, the heart of the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza has been Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán — the most important ensemble in the history of mariachi music. For over half a century, Vargas has been considered the best mariachi in the world (“el mejor mariachi del mundo”). Founded in 1898, in the southern Jalisco village of Tecalitlán, the group celebrates 117 years and six generations. No other mariachi in history has had a trajectory or influence remotely comparable to that of Vargas. Its current generation represents the state of the art in mariachi music: world-class vocalists and instrumentalists, flawless ensemble work, impeccable taste in arrangements and repertoire, and spellbinding showmanship — while continuing to preserve the traditional folk music of the group’s rural origin.
In 2022, the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza was rebranded as the Mariachi Extravaganza in effort to showcase new artists. The rebranding will allow event producers to continue showcasing the greatest mariachi talent from both sides of the border and introduce new groups to the discerning group of mariachi aficionados and supporters of the event. The Guadalajara City-based Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán has been around for nearly 60 years and will make their debut at the Mariachi Extravaganza in 2022 where they will serve as headliner of the music festival.