General Description of Work: Mariachi music is the quintessential music of Mexico and pervades the lives of Mexicans. A complete Mariachi group is comprised of violins, trumpets, guitar, vihuela (5-stringed guitar), guitarron (bass guitar), and sometimes a harp.
Latino music is about rhythm and harmony, drums and strings, identity and heritage. Mariachi represents a significant genre of Mexican music, whose roots go back hundreds of years. Before the arrival of Cortez, traditional music included instruments that included drums, rattles, conch-shells horns, reed and clay flutes. With the arrival of the Spanish and the spread of Christianity, instruments and celebrations changed with the new cultures. Violins, guitars, harps, woodwinds and brass horns were incorporated into new ceremonies that often involved the church. The mestizo and indigenous populations not only mastered the European instruments but also created their own such as the guitarron, comparable to a bass guitar or stand-up bass.
It was during the nineteenth century that Mariachi music took definitive shape in the vaquero (cowboy) culture of Jalisco, where the charriada (rodeo), showcased the horsemanship of working vaqueros (cowboys). The musicians who entertained attendees wore "charro" (a vaquero doing rodeo) costumes. Today’s traje de charro (the traditional outfit associated with Mariachi) includes a large, fancy sombrero (wide-rimmed hat) along with impeccably tailored pants and jackets adorned with silver with embroidery, cut leather designs or silver buttons.
Once the music of the country people, of rodeo and local celebrations, Mariachi emerged on the national scene by the end of the nineteenth century. In 1898, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, the best known group, traveled from Jalisco to Mexico City to perform at the inauguration of President La Zaro Cardenas. This launched a new national sound and a variety of individual groups emerged. Mariachi Vargas, a multi-generational group still in existence, is known as the grandfather of all of today’s groups.
In the twentieth century, groups started to tour. Film, recordings, and radio spread the sound further. Black and white Mexican movies often featured well-known actors stars that also sang with mariachis - Pedro Infante, Lola Beltran and Jose Alfredo Jimenez to name a few.
Now as in the past, Mariachi music is a staple of Mexican celebrations. Mariachis serenade couples, singing songs that demonstrate their love. Often times, on the morning of a birthday or saint’s day, people hire Mariachi to perform Las Mananitas (traditional song) for the celebrant. In Mexico and in Mexican communities in the USA, rites of passage such as baptisms, quinceañeras, weddings, and funerals are not complete without live Mariachis. Church celebrations for saints’ holidays and special masses also include such performances.
Mariachi music represents the essence of Mexico and its people. It is at once cultural, spiritual, traditional, and unique to Mexico and wherever Mexicans have migrated.
Bio: A mariachi typically consists of violins, guitarron (bass guitar), vihuelas (5-string guitar), and trumpets. This type of music originated in the 19th century in the state of Jalisco and has clear European influences. Bands play a variety of music, including rancheras, huapangos, boleros, danzones, polkas, sones, and exetra and perform for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baptisms, masses, and other celebrations.
Miguel Grima Sanchez, founder of Siouxland’s Mariachi Nuevo Guachinango, moved to Iowa in March of 2003 to perform and teach music, and organized the band in 2006. A third-generation mariachi, Miguel started playing at the age of 9 in his home town of Juachinango in the state of Jalisco. Jalisco is one of many western Mexican states that gave life to the mariachi tradition. Miguel’s father and teacher, Francisco Javier Grima, who was born into a family of mariachi musicians there, created the first Mariachi Nuevo Guachinango in Mexico in 1987.
Dressed in traditional charro outfits, Mariachi Nuevo Juachinango is available to perform for any and all events, especially traditional Mexican celebrations and ceremonies, as well as for serenades and fiestas throughout Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and the Dakotas. Miguel Grima and his group also pass on their cultural heritage by teaching Mariachi music to Siouxland youth. Group members include Miguel Angel Grima (vihuela and vocals), Francisco Javier Grima (guitarron), Leopoldo Orozco (trompeta or trompet), Leopoldo Orozco Jr. (violin and vocals), Armando Topete (violin and vocals), Jonathan Grima (violin and vocals), Juan Orozco (violin and vocals), and Jose Flores Topete (trompeta or trompet).
Services Offered 1: Mariachi Nuevo Juachinango is available to perform for any and all events, especially traditional Mexican celebrations and ceremonies, as well as for serenades and fiestas.
Services Offered 2: Miguel Grima and his group also pass on their cultural heritage by individual musical instruments towards creating Mariachi ensembles among youth, from upper elementary through high school.
Regions: All Regions, Central, East, North Central, North East, North West, South Central, South East, South West, West Central
Months available: : all
Performance fees, mileage charges, related to arts services: : Contact for fees plus travel expenses at State of Iowa rates.
Accessibility accommodations, space requirements, equipment and all other needs
that should be met by sponsors: : Contact for details