By: Fredwill Hernandez
“Right now we are about to [soon] start recording a new album of [dedicated to] sones and huapangos that’s complimented with Folklore dance. This time of year [this date] is important to us, being [that it’s] Father’s Day, about fifty percent of the group’s members are fathers — so this day is important aside from the fact is [also] a “great honor” to bring the Festival of Mariachis to the San Diego [County] Fair,” eloquently explained Mariachi Sol De Mexico’s founder Jóse Hernandez, before taking the stage with El Mariachi Tapatio and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar [with folklore dancers] as they “collectively” did a musical and dance tribute to Jalisco.
Hernandez, who aside for being responsible for bringing the Festival of Mariachis to the fair, dubbed as the evening host’s, had the honor of introducing the evening’s musical [and folklore dance] guests.
Many might not know, but Tucson, Arizona — has an “old and strong” connection with Mariachi Music, and no one [group] personifies that better than El Mariachi Tapatio, who among other numbers performed “El Brinco,” “Cuatro Vidas,” “Carretera De Ensenada,” and “Cielito Lindo [Huasteco].”
“We’re extremely excited, first of all its an absolute honor the Maestro Jóse Hernandez, invited El Mariachi Tapatio to be here [and] to participate here today. It’s so exciting and we’re having a lot of fun, honestly we’re enjoying being here,” expressed Alberto Rangel III, who plays the violin and [now] “oversees” the Mariachi group his father Alberto Rangel Jr. [who plays the trumpet] founded in 1991, in Tucson, Arizona. “My dad would have rehearsal’s for the group at our house when we were kids, babies in diapers, and we would be underfoot at rehearsal’s and we [eventually] got an itch for it — as we got older we [my brother and I] picked the instruments we wanted to use [and play], and it’s been part of the family’s blood from here on out.”
Touching on some of Tucson’s Mariachi history, Rangel III also explained, “the old Pueblo in Arizona we have a strong [old] connection with Mariachi Music, for example my brother plays in Mariachi Cobre in Florida, and we grew up playing with Los Changitos Feos which was the “first youth” Mariachi established in the 60s  — Tucson, [Arizona] has a strong Mariachi Heritage, so my dad [who is originally from Wasco, Ca.] moved to Tucson when he went to college at the U of A, and one’s he got there we kind of established it [El Mariachi Tapatio] and just kept rolling with it.”
Like El Mariachi Tapatio, Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar, who performed songs like “Tierra Mia,” “20 Años,” “Mia,” and “Yo Se Perder,” has a similar story of how the group was founded, both Mariachi’s musical directors are “sons of trumpet players,” they are [in someways both] educators, both started playing in [Mariachi] youth groups, and “both” believe in the [everlasting] importance of schooling [and teaching “specifically” Mariachi music] to the youth.
“Music education is beautiful, I have a music school in Montebello, [Ca.], and we have many [kids] as students, it’s the future. We need to set an example to the younger [up-coming] generations because if not this will end. I also started and got inspired to play [Mariachi] watching Jóse Hernandez’s group, Los Camperos and so forth — thinking I someday want to be there playing too,” explained Cuéllar, who has an up coming [group] gig as the Mariachi for Angela Aguilar. “Six months ago we released our latest Cd titled: Canciones de mi Tierra. All my uncles play Mariachi, as a kid I would go to Cielito Lindo [restaurant in El Monte, Ca.] to go see [Jóse] Hernandez and Mariach Sol de Mexico, and [Mariachi] Los Camperos play, then in 2004, I had the great privilege [and honor] to play with Los Camperos for ten years, then I left the group and have been musical director [and at the helm] of [Mariachi] Garibaldi ever since.”
The magical evening or Father’s Day [Mariachi music] extravaganza part of the Toyota Summer Concert Series at [The] San Diego [County]Fair, held at Del Mar [Race Track] and Fair Grounds ended with an electrifying performance by Ana Barbara, who throughout her musical career has been known [from time to time] to be accompanied by the best [true] Mariachi’s “in the world,” and this day was no different!