March 11, 2005

The Future of Culture Is Now

Mariachi Heritage Society Benefit Concert comes of age, March 19

By Marco de la Paz

Let’s talk about future of culture; not just its survival.

The future of culture is the transference of the sensory experience in a meaningful way. Too often culture is a bit like nostalgia: Meaningful to those who experienced it as a part of their lives, but simply history for those who did not.

But José Hernández – famous for his Sol de Mexico mariachi troupe – has created a way to sustain Mariachi culture in the lives of American Latinos that creates an experience for families, communities, and educators.

Mariachi in this land shall flourish thanks to the realization of Mr. Hernández’ dream: The Mariachi Heritage Society. Neve rmind that recent studies show the numbers of Mexican migrants are starting to slow, and that 2nd and 3rd generation families are becoming more assimilated and English-preferred. The Mariachi Heritage Society brings it all home.

The Society, an organization of music education for hundreds of kids, will hold its annual fundraiser with two shows on March 19, 2005, at the San Gabriel Civic Auditorium. And those concerts, entitled “Sentimiento Ranchero,” are the future of Mariachi culture.

Joining the young Mariachi Heritage Society members, will be the extraordinary and world-renowned Sol de Mexico de José Hernández, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, and a ballet folklorico.

Cacique, which has generously provided funding for numerous Latino health and education programs, is again a major force by stepping up to be the title sponsor. Other major donors include Wells Fargo, Blue Cross, PacifiCare, The Walt Disney Company, Century West BMW, Redlands Clay Tile and the LA County Fine Arts Commission. LatinoLA is proud to be a media partner as well.

The Mariachi Heritage Society was created in 1991 by Mr. Hernández, and currently has hundreds of students studying the art of Mariachi, a Mexican music form with over 200 years of tradition.

“It’s unlike any other organization in the world,” said Hernández in a letter to supporters. “Few public schools can offer our youth the kind of one-on-one music instruction that we do. The cost of private instruction is often beyond the means of most low-income families. We hope that you come, not only to enjoy the magic of Mariachi music, but to invest in our future ... our youth.”

And, as he told KLVE, Recuerdo and 1020 audiences last week, “all ticket proceeds go directly to the Mariachi Heritage Society to provide teachers, instruments and uniforms.”

With leaders like Mr. Hernández, the future of Mariachi culture is in a maestro’s hands.

Those who would like to support the Mariachi Heritage Society by attending one of the concerts (2 p.m. and 8 p.m.) can call 626.279.2064 for tickets or online at For event sponsorship inquiries, contact Latino Consultants at 323.344.8080.

Marco de la Paz is a free-lance writer from the in the San Gabriel Valley.

Reprinted from LatinoLa,

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