About the 2020 Viva Southwest Mariachi Festival
The Latino Cultural Arts Center of Colorado and Metropolitan State university of Denver College of Music presented the 4th annual 2020 Viva Southwest Mariachi Festival on Saturday, February 15, 2020, at the King Concert Hall on the Auraria Campus in Denver.
The event provided workshops for students of all ages; including those in elementary, middle, and high school, as well as university and community participants from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming. Throughout the day, students were taught by professional and award-winning masters of mariachi in music, song, and instrumentation (trumpet, violin, vihuela, guitarron, voice), and ensemble performance. The day culminated in a spectacular Mariachi Concert showcase featuring over 200 students in their respective performance groups. For the last three years, we’ve had the pleasure of presenting sold-out shows with the tremendous support from our community.
Mariachi is an essential part of the mosaic of American identity. It unites all people in a fiesta of sound that excites both listeners and participants. Attendees gained an appreciation of the richness of the Mexican culture and an understanding of history through music. Musicians and singers gained a sense of enjoyment by learning about the vast repertoire of compositions with lyrics that tell a story of life, love, challenges, and historical figures. Highlighted themes include love, betrayal, death, politics, heroes and can be performed anywhere and anytime and is not limited to stages. Mariachi is a unique musical genre because of the instrumentation; guitarrón and vihuela that are only played in mariachi. Methods and styles include Son Jalisciense, Bolero, Huapango, Ranchera, Corrido and Waltz. Performers wear traditional Mariachi clothing known as traje, as they honor their past and celebrate the present.
This unique opportunity to showcase Mariachi regionally empowered the youth to continue their professional careers as Mariachi musicians and instructors. Sessions ranged from beginner, intermediate and advanced skill levels. Recording artists, composers, and arrangers who taught the classes include: Dr. Jeff Nevin, an award-winning composer and author of Mariachi Mastery, a series of educational materials for educators and students. His mariachi, Mariachi Champaña de Jeff Nevin, have traveled internationally on behalf of the U.S. Department of State as cultural ambassadors; Chuy Hernández of the Grammy Nominated Mariachi Sol de México from Los Angeles, California; John Contreras from the national award-winning Mariachi Aztlán of Pueblo High School and former member of the Changuitos Feos (who later became the Disney Mariachi Cobre) and Mariachi Tlaquepaque from Tucson, Arizona; Rebecca Gonzales from the Mariachi Tesoro in Los Angeles and the First Professional Female Mariachi in America and former member of the Grammy award winning Mariachi los Camperos; Members of the Mariachi Sol de Mi Tierra of Juventino Romero; and Dr. Lorenzo A. Trujillo, Director and Professor of the Mariachi los Correcaminos de MSU Denver. Along with many more.
More information is available at (303) 615-1010 or at and tickets are available from the King Center Box Office at (303) 556-2296, or visit https://www.msudenver.edu/music/events/vivamariachi/.