September 29, 2000


El Festival ¡Viva el Mariachi! Presentará en San Diego a los Mejores Cinco Mariachis del Mundo

El segundo festival Viva el Mariachi!, organizado por la Cámara Hispana de Comercio del Condado de San Diego, prsentará a los cinco mejores Mariachis del mundo, el próximo domingo 8 de octubre en el Coors Amphitheater de Chula Vista.



Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles

El Festival fue creado con la finalidad de recaudar fondos para apoyar los programas de becas y ayuda a la comunidad que reliza la Cámara a lo largo y ancho del Condado de San Diego. El espectáculo contará con la participación de los siguientes Mariachis: El Mariachi Vargas de Tecatitlán, Sol de México de José Hernández, Nati Cano y Los Camperos, La Reyna de Los Angeles y el Mariachi Cobre de Randy Carrillo.

El Festival comenzará a las 4:00 p.m. y tendrá una duración de más de 3 horas. Cada grupo tocará por lo menos media hora y se tienen contemplados algunos actos en donde todos los grupos toquen juntos. Canciones tan famosas como El Rey y Cielito Lindo deleitarán a los asistentes, así como la aparición en escena del Ballet Folklórico; de Candace Sames, una pequeña cantante de once años que cuenta con una voz privilegiada; de Tony Muñoz y de Angel Ortiz, un niño de 10 años poseedor de grandes habilidades para hacer suertes con el lazo.

"Este evento es único porque los asistentes podrán disfrutar de un espectáculo de primera calidad, con grupos de 12-13 integrantes, tocando instrumentos tan variados como el harpa o la trompeta, y al mismo tiempo contribuir a una causa noble", dijo Manny Aguilar, presidente de la Cámara Hispana de Comercio del Condado de San Diego.

Los boletos estarán a la venta en línea en www.ticketmaster.com o llamando al (619) 220-8497. Los precios varían de $25 a $250 dólares (este último incluye una cena con los Mariachis al término del evento). Para mayor información comunicarse al (619) 702-0790.

History of Mariachi Sounds

Mariachi music as we know it began in the 19th century in the central Mexican state of Jalisco, in the town of Cocula.



El Mariachi Cobre de Randy Carrillo.

The blending of the sounds of all the instruments is what makes mariachi music distinctive from other forms.

Mariachi contrasts the sweet sounds of violins against the brilliance of trumpets, and the deep bass sound of the guitarrón with the higher-pitched vihuela.

Today, a complete mariachi group can have as many as six to eight violins, two trumpets, a guitar, a guitarrón, a vihuela and maybe even a harp.

Guitarrón: A large guitar-like instrument with six strings and a peaked or round back. The guitarrón provides the bass rhythm for the ensemble, suppling low notes and deep sound. The strings are shorter than bass guitar strings and at a higher tension for a bigger and edgier sound.

Vihuela: A small guitarlike instrument with six strings and a peaked or round back. Also part of the rhythm section, the vihuela provides a high-pitched, crisp, kind of snaredrum rhythm to counter the guitarron.

Guitarra: A standard six -string classic/Spanish guitar with nylon strings.

Guitarra de golpe: A flat-backed five-string guitar used in the southern Jalisco style of playing. It has a deeper sound box and a deeper resonance.

Arpa: A 36-string harp that has multiple functions within the mariachi ensemble. With a guitarrón, the harp plays a rhythm counterpoint to the bass. It can also play melody.

Violín: The standard violín found throughout the world, strung with gut or steel strings. Mariachi originally evolved with violins as the dominant melody instrument, with the harp sometimes supplying the melodic counterpoint.

Trompeta: A standard B-flat trumpet. The most recent addition to the mariachi, the trumpet became part of the mix in the 1940's, when mariachi music was beginning to be played on the radio.

Mariachi Songs and Meaning

Types of songs in mariachi:

Son: Sones are the backbone of mariachi. They were the popular folk music of the day when mariachi evolved, mixing folk traditions of Spain, Mexican and Africa.

Sones are emotional and rhythmic. Alternating between a 3/4 and a 6/8 rhythm, they are the most complex to play, but they are also the most energetic.

The lyrics of the sones frequently describe country life: in particular, the plants, animals and people of the region. These lyrics are highly suggestive, often using imagery of animals to describe the relations between men and women. Popular sones include "La Negra (The Black One)," "La Madrugada (The Day-break)" and "El Carretero (The Cart Driver)."

Huapango: Usually played in a minor key, making it a bit more mysterious, huapangos are very romantic songs done in 3/4 and 6/8 rhythm. Some examples are "Malagueña (Lady from Malaga)" and "Cucuru-cucu Paloma (Cucurucucu Dove)."

Polka: Showing the European influence or mariachi, the polka comes right from Germany, It uses 2/4 rhythm and is simply dancing music. "Jesusita en Chihuahua" and "El Barrilito (Roll Out the Barrel)" are favorites.

Bolero: A romantic love song, done in 4/4 rhythm. "There is no other reason to write a bolero except it's a love song," said Mariachi Aztlán director Richard Carranza, "Ojos Españoles (Spanish Eyes)" or "Solamente Una Vez (Just One Time)" are popular boleros. Ranchera lenta: A slow, romantic song in 2/4 rhythm. "Volver, volver (Come back, come back)" is a ranchera lenta.

Ranchera valseada: A corrido or storytelling song in 3/4 rhythm about any of the eternal themes -love, hate, friendship, bravery and honor. "Corrido de Cananea (Story song of Cananea)" is a ran-chera valseada.

Joropo: A newer style, develop in the 1960's the joropo is a combination of the huapango and the son. Using no words, José Hernandez revolutionized mariachi music by employing different harmonies and modern symphonic arrangements to compose "La Bikina."

The "Traje de Charro" Mariachi Uniform

Moño: The side, folded bow-tie with weight enough to droop.

Brochas: A colorful paintbrush style of tie, also worn on occasion.

Pachuqueña: The traditional shirts worn under the jackets, named for where they were made, Pachuca, México, an area famous for textiles. The shirts are usually tailored with a horseshow shape in the back and V cut in front so they don't bunch up under the jacket.

Cinto: The belt, usually hand-stitched with pita, a decorative white thread that comes from Maguay, México. The buckle is generally leather or metal and cast with a significant design.

Botines: The short boots worn with the uniform.

Sombrero: Decorative, hand-stitched leather hats, with greca or scrolling, vinelike designs along the band.

Chaqueta/chamarra: A short-waisted jacket/coat also ornamented with embroidery, intricately cut designs and buttons. These were riding jackets, designed short so that they wouldn't be in the way when mounting a horse.

Broach: The fastening part of the jacket. These buttons usually match the ones along the pant leg.

Malcuerna: The buttons on the cuffs of the jacket, also matching the rest.

Pantalón: Tightly fitted wool pants that opened slightly at the ankle to fit over a short riding boot. Traditionally, the pants were ornamented with embroidery, intricately cut designs and buttons. Originally they were made with an extra 4 inches at the cuff so that when the charro was riding, the cuff still reached the boot.

Botonadura: The buttons along the outside of the pants were originally functional buttons used with chaps. In the ceremonial traje, the buttons were just as fancy adornment. Silver to show wealthy stature. The button design was significant to each charro, usually representing the ranch or some identifying charm.

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