Mark your calendars and make plans to attend the Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque (MSA) from July 10th through July 13th, 2019. The Spectacular features workshop sessions, special Mass service, Hall of Fame ceremony, and of course, an abundance of music, including the Showcase Concert and the Spectacular Concert held at the beautiful outdoor Sandia Amphitheater.
The Story of Mariachi
As the traditional music of Mexico, Mariachi has a history that spans hundreds of years. Inspired by Spanish theatrical music that originally featured violins, guitars, and a harp, each region developed a unique version of Mariachi. The Mariachi music of today began to take shape in the Mexican state of Jalisco during the 19th century, while ensembles in the northeast region of Mexico, such as Veracruz and Huasteca, developed their own unique styles.
By the turn of the 20th century, Mariachi ensembles were comprised of the cocula or the vihuela, two violins, and the guitarron. However, by the middle of the 20th century, Mariachi ensembles became more flexible, with classical guitar, two trumpets, and more violins added to the mix, allowing groups to play in genres other than the traditional folk song style.
The Mariachi Spectacular in Albuquerque
The Hall of Fame stands out as a highlight of the Mariachi Spectacular. Established in 1994, the Hall of Fame honors folk musicians who have learned their craft and play by ear. Each year, pioneers of Mariachi are given well-deserved recognition, in many cases long overdue. Workshops are offered at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels to provide a deeper understanding of Mariachi to all ages. The Mass, held at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial, is the climax of the Mariachi Spectacular, allowing participants to end the celebration by experiencing Mariachi in an utterly unique setting.
To learn more about the Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque, check out the website at mariachispectacular.com, which contains detailed information about the complete schedule of activities and events, along with registration.