November 2, 2001

Third Annual ¡Viva El Mariachi! Festival

To Fill Coors Amphitheatre with Culture, Community Spirit

The spirited sounds of the world's best mariachi bands will fill the evening air on Nov. 10 when the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presents the Third Annual ¡Viva El Mariachi! Festival.

The cultural extravaganza at Coors Amphitheatre in Chula Vista is designed to bring together diverse elements of the community to foster educational and cultural advancement for Hispanic residents throughout San Diego County.

"Once again, we have assembled the finest mariachi ensembles in the world for an exciting night of entertainment that will benefit the programs and people the chamber supports," said chamber president Manny Aguilar.

Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles.

"We hope to draw a record crowd to this year's festival, where the audience can enjoy entertainment from bands of up to 14 musicians playing instruments as diverse as the harp, trumpet, violin and guitar."

A portion of the festival's proceeds will be donated to assist victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Beginning at 4 p.m. after pre-concert entertainment from 2 p.m., the festival will feature half-hour individual and combined performances by the following celebrated mariachi groups:

- 2001 Latin Grammy Award nominee Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez, a 14-member orchestrated group offering traditional sounds embellished with fresh, contemporary passion and powerful new rhythms.

- Nati Cano y Los Camperos, a pioneer in the mariachi renaissance in the United States and Mexico known for its amazing number of singer/instrumentalists.

- Reyna de Los Angeles - America's first female mariachi group, a tradition-breaking ensemble whose music champions a return to romance, manners and solid values.

- Mariachi Los Reyes de Mexico de Francisco Gonzalez, known for introducing and featuring the accordion while paying tribute to Mexican artists and composers from past, present and future. Founder Francisco Javier Gonzalez Bautista is the former first violinist and lead singer of the world-renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan.

Additional festival performers will include youth ballet folklorico groups; trick-rope artist Tony Muñoz with his 11-year-old prodigy, Angel Ortiz Jr.; and the best young up-and-coming mariachi groups from the 11 South Bay Schools Mariachi programs.

Starting at 2 p.m., festival-goers of all ages can enjoy an event for the entire family, with youth mariachi bands, ballet folklorico and other entertainment performing throughout Coors Amphitheatre prior to enjoying the best mariachi groups in the world at 4 p.m.

Aguilar says the festival's mission is threefold: educational, cultural and community. "The festival will raise funds to support higher education efforts for our Hispanic youth through scholarships and academic extension programs," he said.

"Another education component is to provide more services to Hispanic Chamber members and ultimately our community. The festival also supports programs designed to develop and attract better employment and business opportunities for our community's Hispanic entrepreneurs."

Tickets are now available at all TICKETMASTER Centers and the Coors Amphitheatre box office. For event information, call (619) 702-0795. Prices range from $12 for lawn seating to $150 including a pre-show cocktail party.

"The festival offers an opportunity to share with our audience the rich cultural folklore and music that best represents our distinctly beautiful Mexican-American cultural heritage" Aguilar said.

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