Entertainment

Oct 4, 2013 4:51 PM

Mariachi Music Fest at the American Bank Center

CORPUS CHRISTI - Corpus Christi's 6th Annual Mariachi Music Fest serves host to a weekend of mariachi events including a concert with the world's preeminent Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, mariachi music presentations in schools and a mariachi vocal competition.

The event is the largest mariachi music festival of its kind in the Coastal Bend Area and serves as a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration (September 15 - October 15) featuring some of greatest musicians and vocalists in the world.

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán is the main attraction for Corpus Christi's 6th Annual Mariachi Music Fest. The group holds the title as el mejor mariachi del mundo with their original musical arrangements, vast recordings and flawless and breathtaking performances. Mariachi Vargas takes the stage on Saturday, October 12 at the American Bank Center Selena Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. "Seeing Mariachi Vargas live in concert is an experience beyond the imagination," says Alexa Cavasos, Glazer's Multicultural Marketing Director and sponsor of the event. "It's Mexico's greatest music and the best of the Latino culture," she added.

Joining Mariachi Vargas on stage is guest vocalist and violinist Raul Cuellar from San Antonio, Texas. Also performing as part of the group is Gustavo Alvarado, Federico Torres and Fernando Velásquez on trumpet; Alberto Alfaro, Miguel Barrón, Andrés González, José "Pepe" Martínez, Sr., Daniel Martínez and José "Pepe Jr" Martínez. on violin; Julio Martínez on harp; Enrique de Santiago on guitarron; Gilberto Aguirre on vihuela; and Arturo Vargas on guitar. All are based out of Mexico City.

Included in the lineup is Texas A&M University - Kingsville's Mariachi Javelina and Mariachi Nuevo Royal with the award-winning, Houston-based, mariachi vocalist Virginia Stille. Stille won the prestigious title of Best Mariachi Vocalist in the U.S. in 2001 at age 13 during the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio. Since then, she has performed in concerts, as an opening act for Mariachi Vargas, in San Antonio, Austin, McAllen and Houston. She is a recent graduate from Texas Tech University and is officially launching her career as a solo vocalist during Corpus Christi's 6th Annual Mariachi Music Fest. Accompanying Virginia Stille is Mariachi Nuevo Royal who performs under the direction of long time mariachi director, instructor, musician, arranger and composer John Vela.

Virginia Stille will perform for students in area schools on October 10 and 11 and help judge a mariachi vocal competition open to talented vocalists in the Coastal Bend area. Participants will compete in an open category on Saturday, October 12 at the American Bank Center Selena Auditorium at 4:00 p.m. The competition is FREE and open to the public. One winner will be selected by members of Mariachi Vargas to perform as an opening act on Saturday, October 12.

"There is so much talent in the Coastal Bend Area," says State Farm Agent and sponsor Francisco Aguilar. "The mariachi vocal competition is a great way to showcase the very best from our community and provide talented youth the opportunity to share the stage with Mariachi Vargas," he said. "This is a great honor," he added.

Interested participants may submit an MP3 file or link to a YouTube video of a song by September 30 to lyndsey@mariachimusic.com. Ten finalists will be selected to compete in front of members of Mariachi Vargas. Finalists will be posted on mariachimusic.com on Tuesday, October 1.

Corpus Christi's 6th Annual Mariachi Music Fest is sponsored by Buchanan's, State Farm Insurance, KRIS Communications, Clear Channel Radio, the Corpus Christi Caller Times, NSIDE Magazine and mariachimusic.com. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000 or the American Bank Center Box Office. For more information log on to mariachimusic.com.

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