Mariachi fest will showcase seasoned professionals in Chula Vista

Mariachi Los Reyes

Mariachi Los Reyes will perform at Bayside Park on March 10, as part of the 2019 International Mariachi Festival.

The event, which was previously held in National City, will be in Chula Vista this year, and will feature the popular mariachi ensemble from the Los Angeles area.
Jorge Alvarez, the groups owner and representative, said the ensemble is progressive and versatile.

“We’re trying to explore things that past generations wouldn’t think of,” he said. “(In) Mariachi you can get a variety of styles, you can play classical, when it comes to instrumental we have great musicians that can play difficult stuff.”

Before the main event, the group will work with mariachi student-performers during a workshop running from March 8-9.

“What we like to teach is that these kids, they motivate themselves, they motivate their style of mariachi music,” Alvarez said. “The style that we bring to them.”

This year’s festival will be the seventh iteration of the event, but the first time Chula Vista will play host.

Alvarez praised the city of Chula Vista for propping up mariachi music, and said the city has produced quality talent.

“I like the fact that their supporting so much of the Mexican tradition,” he said. “I’ve had kids that worked with me here that come from Chula Vista and they’re great musicians.”
The pre-festival training could end up being invaluable for students who will compete on the day of the event at the high school and middle school divisions for prizes ranging from $1,000 for first and $250 for third.

Serafin Paredes, a mariachi ensemble director and lecturer at University of San Diego, said students will be in good hands learning from Mariachi Los Reyes.

“Right now, Mariachi Los Reyes is probably one of the best mariachi bands in the LA area,” he said. “They are really standing out and the members are turning out to also be great mariachi instructors.”

Paredes, who will be performing at the festival with his group, Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego, said the students admire and are inspired by ensembles like Mariachi Los Reyes.

“They are really good role models for the students,” he said. “The students look up to the way they play and being able to see themselves in the future.”

Along with music, festival attendees will have access to activities such as face painting, virtual reality games, extreme water sports and a wrestling exhibition, according to the festival’s official website.

Jacquelyn Reynoso, the president of the National City chamber of commerce, which organizes the event, wrote in an email that it is an honor to have Mariachi Los Reyes perform.

“Mariachi Los Reyes exemplifies the splendor and vibrancy of Mexican arts and culture,” she wrote. “The festival enables members of the public to experience mariachi music at an extremely accessible price point of only $5 for adults, for a world-renowned group and an experience of a life time.”


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