May 4, 2001

Super Bowl of Mariachis Shakes Up Pay-per-view

With a remarkable 51% share of the U.S. market, Mexican regional music rules the Latin music genre. Rodri J. Rodriguez knows this and will be banking on it come May 5th. This gutsy Latina took a leap of faith twelve years ago and created what most considered an impossibility. She proved that naysayers wrong and presented, before a sold out crowd of 18,000, the first mariachi music festival at the Hollywood Bowl. Today, after a dozen years of successful MARIACHI USA Festivals, Rodriguez is taking another calculated risk, the production and financing of the first-ever, pay-per-view (PPV) mariachi concert to air nationally on iN DEMAND on May 5.

"No one has done it," says Creator and Executive Producer Rodriguez. "This is my dream, albeit a very costly one, but this music is on fire and all America will love it. I believe we are long overdue for Latin entertainment product from the West Coast, so here it is for all to see on prime time."

Surrounded by heated debate about the Latin Grammys not giving Mexican Regional music its just spotlight and with Latino Hollywood still battling the lack of their own images on television and film, here is one woman delivering both, nationally and on prime time.

Expecting to capture a new television audience, the MARIACHI USA Festival from the Hollywood Bowl will be available on PPV nationwide. Billed as the world's preeminent mariachi festival, the airing on iN DEMAND is deliberately timed to coincide with widely popular Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) holiday weekend celebrations across the country.

"We will bring fresh dollars to the pay-per-view market," says Rodriguez. "We will again make mariachi magic, this time on national TV."

"We are breaking new ground with MARIACHI USA," says Irv Holender of Liberty International Entertainment Inc. the program's distributor. "We need to expand PPV beyond boxing and wrestling."

Rodriguez' Festival has broken attendance records at the Hollywood Bowl. When wider audiences hear and see professional concert mariachi ensembles, Rodriguez is confident new fans will be swept up in the bonafide mariachi experience. Her years of success with the Festival are proof that "Maria-chis are loved worldwide because of the music's passion and their spectacular performances."

This historic, television debut of the MARIACHI USA Festival at the Hollywood Bowl features mariachi ensembles from the U.S. and Mexico. The timeless favorite, bilingual, super star Mexican actress Angelica Maria hosts the two-hour show. Angelica Maria will weave together the show's music, the history and the culture. Cameos of mariachi legends in old films will pay tribute to the grand masters of this perennial music genre.

The featured groups are concert ensembles each with a minimum of 12 musicians. They include: from Arizona, Mariachi Cielo de México; from Florida, Mariachi Cobre; from California, Mariachi Imperial de México and from Guada-lajara, México, Mariachi Internacional de Guadala-jara. Highlighting modern-day diversity among mariachis will be the all female group, from where else but the golden state, Mariachi Mujer 2000 and the "Black Charro," African-American Timothy Pollard. Adding colorful choreography to the show will be the critically acclaimed folkloric dance troup, Ballet Tonantzín.

The concert event will premiere on May 5 at a price of $8.95 on iN DEMAND. Contact local cable operators for ordering information. The MARIACHI USA Festival is produced by Rodri Entertainment Group and distributed by Liberty International Entertainment Inc. For more information visit these web sites: www.mariachiusa.com and www.rodri.com.

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