3rd Annual Phoenix Mariachi Festival kicks off holidays

Above: Behind the scenes view during the 57th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on December 24, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Lifestyle | 8 Nov |

On the heels of a sold-out performance last year, the Third Annual Phoenix Mariachi Festival, filled with lively music in a festive atmosphere, comes to the Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 10.

The unmistakable sounds of violins, trumpets, guitar, vihuela and guitarrón will permeate the theater, as Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán will headline the show, as part of its mission of sharing its internationally-recognized Mariachi music “from Mexico to the world.” 

The festival will also spotlight a show-stopping performance from famed international soloist Marisa Ronstadt, the younger cousin of famous singer Linda Ronstadt. Marisa has her own band, and her own style – a mix of Mariachi, Classic Rock, Soul, R&B, and Indie Pop.

In addition, festival-goers will have an opportunity to experience a special performance from Mariachi Femenil Las Colibrí, an all-female Mariachi group.

Tucson-based Ballet Folklórico Tapatío, one of the finest folklorico programs in the nation, will also perform. 

José Armando Ronstadt, who was inducted into the Tucson International Mariachi Conference Hall of Fame in 2003, will emcee this must-attend event of the holiday season. 

Mariachi Saguaritos, a children’s Mariachi ensemble, will be part of the pre-concert in the lobby. 

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018: doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams Street (2nd Ave. & Adams St.), Phoenix, AZ 85003

TICKETS: Tickets are available for purchase at https://bit.ly/2N1pvxh. Ticket prices start at $40 each, and are expected to sell out quickly. 

Performers

Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán: Undoubtedly considered one of the most internationally-recognized Mariachi groups, Mariachi Nuevo  Tecalitlán delivers the finest Mariachi music “from Mexico to the world.” This musical institution is recognized as the best Mariachi in the Mexican state of Jalisco, where Mariachi music originated. The group was founded in 1965 by brothers Pepe Martínez Barajas and Fernando Martínez Barajas, who carried out tours around Latin America and the U.S. A second generation of musicians joined this 12-piece traditional Mexican group during the ‘80s and ‘90s, with Fernando Martínez Jr. and Carlos Martínez being among them. In 1997, Fernando Martínez Barajas’ son, Angel Martínez Arreguin, became the legendary group’s leading member. The group is celebrating more than 50 years as one Mexico’s premier Mariachi ensembles in the world, with more than 60 recorded albums.

Marisa Ronstadt (Soloist and Guest Artist): Hailing from a talented Arizona family, Marisa Ronstadt’s name may have been made famous by multiplatinum recording artist Linda Ronstadt. However, Maria is a widely-respected signer in her own right. Having been singing since she was seven years old, if you name it, she can probably sing it. Heavily influenced by Mariachi, R&B/soul, and rock, as well as Lola Beltran, Pedro Infante, The Beatles, and Marvin Gaye, she has worked with many Grammy-award-winning stars, including Quetzal Flores and Martha Gonzalez of the band Quetzal; Los Lobos; David Gomez and Jeremy Keller of the band Monte Carlo 76; R&B/Soul sensation Aloe Blacc; and the singer-songwriter/rapper Maya Jupiter. In 2009, Marisa recorded and released an album as the lead vocalist for the band Monte Carlo 76. After that, she began writing songs with band member Jeremy Keller for Marisa Ronstadt and the Know-It-Alls. Earning much acclaim, Marisa jumped back into her cultural roots with Mariachi music, performing at the legendary, world-renowned Teatro Metropólitan in Mexico City. Of all music genres, you might say that Mariachi is her favorite. In October 2017, she told Randy Cordova of The Arizona Republic, “Mariachi is an experience you feel. When I sing it, it pulls from a different part of me. It’s a different muscle and a different part of my brain. It’s a different presentation and a completely different experience.” While she currently resides in Los Angeles, she still considers Phoenix to be her home. In the same Arizona Republic/azcentral.com article written by Cordova, she said, “[Phoenix is] my foundation, my training ground. Music and education – that’s what made me fall in love with music, particularly Mariachi music. I’m just really happy to be bringing this home.”   

Mariachi Femenil Las Colibrí: With a passion for music, beauty, and girl power, Las Colibrí (“The Hummingbirds”) have a passion for music, beauty, and girl power. These women are flying into new territory as one of the most unique ensembles of the traditional music genre from Western Mexico by returning to the all-string instrumentation of the early 20th Century Mariachi tradition and the colorful, feminine costumes of the Mexican cinematic divas of the ‘40s and ‘50s. After years of achieving much success individually as instrumentalists and vocalists in various professional arenas, these women have come together with their lovely blend of vocal harmonies, unique arrangements, and interpretation of traditional songs, huapangos, rancheras with a contemporary twist.

Ballet Folklórico Tapatío: Celebrating nearly 20 years of entertaining audiences around the U.S. and Mexico, the more-than-150-member Ballet Folklórico Tapatío is recognized as one of the finest folklórico programs in the nation. Under the direction of master dance instructor Sergio Valle and the leadership of owner and founder Eduardo Baca Sr., and with the help and support of Lupe Klein Aviles, Ballet Folklórico Tapatío’s mission is to provide a healthy, safe and inspirational environment in which children and young adults are given the opportunity to learn about Mexican culture and history through traditional regional dances. 

José Armando Ronstadt: José Armando Ronstadt, who was inducted into the Tucson International Mariachi Conference Hall of Fame in 2003, will host this year’s Phoenix Mariachi Festival. Mr. Ronstadt is well known in Latino communities not only for his achievements in television, but also for his life-long activism on behalf of Hispanic causes. Mr. Ronstadt’s extensive career in local, national, and international television includes experience as a top-level executive and public speaker as well as a television personality and respected journalist. In addition, Mr. Ronstadt has made his mark on the musical world, hosting the most prestigious Mariachi conferences in the United States, which serve as major fundraisers for nonprofit organizations. In 2006, Arizona State University honored him by creating the “Josè A. Ronstadt Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award,” in recognition of his sustained contributions to academics and Latinos at the university. He received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2010 from the Hispanic Media Coalition, and in 2011 from The Radio & Television News Association of Southern California.          

Mariachi Saguaritos: This children’s Mariachi ensemble is part of the Harmony Project Phoenix ,a non-profit organization that offers free music lessons to children and youth in the community. Under the direction of Carlos Castaneda, Mariachi Saguaritos achieved first-place honors in the elementary division at the Albuquerque Mariachi Spectacular’s national competition in New Mexico. The children in this ensemble, who are between the ages of 5 to 11, are students who aspire to become ambassadors of musical excellence, community leadership, and cultural heritage.

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