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  • Pamela Froman

MARIACHI USA

Traditional Mariachi music is making its return to Los Angeles! MARIACHI USA – the premiere Mariachi music festival in the world, as well as the only annual Latino-themed event at the Hollywood Bowl, is celebrating its 30th year. The show displays top Mariachi bands from the USA and Mexico, traditional folkloric dance and an amazing sing-along to this traditional music. The legendary fireworks finale display caps off this fun-filled event.


The show was founded and created by creator and producer Rodri J. Rodriguez and pays homage to this cherished cultural tradition. "We are a celebration of family, pride, and tradition. We give top-notch Mariachi music," says Rodri. "Our fans have devotion and dedication."


MARIACHI USA began in 1990 and the show is greater than ever. This year, MARIACHI USA features performances by Mariachi Cobre, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalítlan, Mariachi Los Reyes, Mariachi Mujer 2000, Mariachi Campanas de America, Mariachi Femenil Nuevo Tecalítlan, along with traditional dance by Mi Tierra Ballet Folklorico.


Rodri has a strong history with female Mariachis. She put together the first female Mariachi band that was drawn from women who were performers in various male groups. "We had 15 women onstage all wearing different charro costumes," says Rodri. "It was truly the genesis of female Mariachi groups in the United States."


In addition, Mariachi Cobre from Disneyworld's Epcot Center will be performing tunes by Coco and Mi Tierra Ballet Folklorico will create a stunning display of dance with both Aztec moves and dances that represent different regions of Mexico.


Mariachi began simply, with just a few instruments. It emerged in international popularity in the 1930s film era of Mexico. But it was opera singer Lucia Reyes that truly defined this genre. Lucia's voice was well-matched to singing Rancheras. "She is responsible for taking Mariachi out of the cantinas and into the theatrical environment," says Rodri.


Mariachi is a music genre that is all about storytelling. They are in your home and in your heart as a mainstay of entertainment with true musical showmanship. "Mariachi is acoustic music and the throat of a Mariachi singer is in and of itself an amazing instrument," says Rodri.


MARIACHI USA is cultivating a new generation of Mariachis. The MARIACHI USA Foundation is a non-profit organization providing school-aged children, from elementary to high school, a Mariachi music education. Students receive training and get a chance to perform at the Bowl.

There is a broad audience that enjoys MARIACHI USA. There are Latinos like Cubans, Columbians, Salvadorians, Costa Ricans, Puerto Ricans, and Panamanians. There are also African-Americans, Caucasians, and Asians. You get it all, all of what Los Angeles is about at the Hollywood Bowl. There are also people who come from throughout the United States for family reunion trips where they have chosen to be at MARIACHI USA.


Ticket buyers for MARIACHI USA are unlike any other Hollywood Bowl event. There are huge groups that enjoy the show with their family and friends. The largest one is 165 strong! They love Mariachi!


MARIACHI USA begins with activities in the Plaza at 1 p.m. Sponsors distribute samples, and games with an opportunity to win gifts. The children from MARIACHI USA Foundation will perform and there is even a VIP party pre-show. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for picnicking and the show starts at 6 p.m. sharp and fireworks go off at 10:45pm "People get there early and make a day of it," say Rodri. "We are bringing together people that are very proud of their culture, and they're proud of this music genre."


What is the best part of the performance? "The sing-a-long is my favorite because the audience takes over," says Rodri. "Not one single song is duplicated and there is a lot of traditional music. The fact that you are singing with 17,000 people is truly exciting."

See you at the fiesta!


MARIACHI USA takes place June 22 at the Hollywood Bowl. For more information

call (800) MARIACHI or log onto www.mariachiusa.com

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