We are proud to announce that the University of Texas Pan American Mariachi Aztlan, Rigoberto Alfaro, Sergio Caratachea, and Javier Rodriguez will be our guest instructors for our Mariachi Showcase at the University of San Diego on March 11 & 12, 2016. With their knowledge as music instructors and experience in the industry, this group of experts will be the perfect fit for our vision and goals of this year’s Mariachi Showcase. Register now, space is limited. This series of workshops will be a unique and unforgettable experience for all that attend.
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Mariachi Aztlán
Since 1989, the UTRGV Mariachi Aztlán has been one of the best known musical groups on campus and off. The UTRGV Mariachi program was founded by Dr. Dahlia Guerra, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at UTRGV, and is directed by Mr. Francisco Loera, who is on the faculty at the Department of Modern Languages and Literature and the Department of Music and Dance at UTRGV.
The UTRGV Mariachi Aztlán was founded to promote Mexican Folk music and the culture of the Hispanic people for the benefit of the students and community of South Texas. The Mariachi has traveled throughout Mexico representing the U.S.A. and throughout America as musical ambassadors representing the beauty of the Hispanic music and cultural traditions and creating a bridge of cultural understanding between two countries and two peoples. Their growing reputation for performance excellence initiated the recent invitation from the White House to perform at a signing ceremony of an Executive Order renewing and enhancing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, performing for President Obama himself. In collaboration with the Houston Grand Opera, the UTRGV Mariachi Aztlan premiered the stage production of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, the world’s first “Mariachi-Opera” in December, 2010.
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Sergio Caratachea Bio
Maestro Sergio Caratachea was born in Jalisco, Mexico. Today he is recognized in the international world of mariachi as violinist, composer, pedagogue, arranger, and musical director. He has taught many of the members of today’s most recognized mariachis, has been commissioned to compose and arrange for the same, and has recorded with Vicente Fernández, Lola Beltrán, Lucha Villa, among many others. Maestro Caratachea is also an accomplished classical violinist; he has performed with the Orquesta de la Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara and is currently violin professor in in the program “Música maestro” of the Education Secretariat of Jalisco.
Rigoberto Alfaro, one of the most influential musicians in the history of mariachi music, is the 2005 Mariachi Spectacular International Hall of Fame inductee. If you listen to mariachi music, you have probably heard countless arrangements and recorded performances of his.Rigoberto Alfaro Rodríguez was born in Yurécuaro, Michoacan on November 1, 1934, the fourth of eight children born to mariachi violinist Guadalupe Alfaro and his wife, Esperanza Rodríguez. When he was nine years old, Rioberto’s family moved to Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, where they remained for five years. From Nuevo Laredo, they moved to Mexico City, where young Alfaro began his musical career as a guitar player in his father’s group, Mariachi Arandense, an ensemble that worked in the famous Plaza Garibaldi.
Javier Rodriguez was born in Tlaltenango, Zacatecas, Mexico. At the age of 8 he began his musical studies but it was not until the age of 13 that he began to develop his talents as a trumpet player. Two years later, he immigrated to the United States where he began playing with his uncle Juan Rodriguez’ Mariachi Nuevo Zapopan in Fresno, California. Shortly after, he returned to Mexico to continue his studies at the University of Guadalajara, Jalisco. At the same time, he was also a member of the Mariachi Los Toritos de Ramón Ibarra, as well as member of a versatile orchestra.
Javier’s accomplishments also include touring with Antonio Aguilar, Flor Silvestre & Pepe Aguilar. Javier returns to the U.S. and for several years thereafter, was a member of the Mariachi Sol de México. Currently, he feels a great deal of pride being a member of one of the best Mariachis, Los Camperos de Nati Cano. It is with this Mariachi that Javier and all the members of Los Camperos were recognized by the National Academy of Recorded Arts and Sciences for being artists that participated in the recordings of “Celebration! A Tribute to Ella Jenkins!”, which was awarded a Grammy in 2004.
Throughout his years and with different Mariachis, Javier has accompanied the best artists of Mexican Music such as Alejandro Fernández, Vicente Fernández, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Miguel Aceves Mejía, Aída Cuevas, Linda Ronstandt, Rocío Banquels and many more.
Soon after California native Jonathan Clark first heard mariachi music as a college student in the mid-1970s, it became his passion, and he began his lifelong study of that genre. Two years later, in 1977, he moved to Mexico City. There, he was befriended and mentored by members of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, and he spent the next 12 years playing guitarrón with mariachis in and around Plaza Garibaldi. After meeting the legendary Silvestre Vargas in 1979, Clark embarked upon a serious study of the history of mariachi music, collecting as much information and interviewing as many of the musicians who forged the tradition as he could.
In 1991, Clark returned to California, where he began lecturing and writing articles on mariachi history. He founded and directed the San José State University Mariachi Workshop, and later directed the mariachi program at Stanford University. In 1997, he cofounded Mexico’s first mariachi museum, the Museo Silvestre Vargas, in Tecalitlán, Jalisco. His publications include entries in The Latino Encyclopedia and the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, and liner notes for the Arhoolie CD series Mexico’s Pioneer Mariachis. His literary collaborations include Agustín Gurza’s award-winning The Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American Recordings, and mariachi legend Miguel Martínez’s autobiographical Mi Vida, Mis Viajes, Mis Vivencias. In 2013, he received the Presea Vicente T. Mendoza, the highest award the Mexican government confers for documentation and analysis of traditional Mexican music