MARIACHI USA Fiesta will present an exciting, entertaining and eclectic show at the L.A. County Fair's End of Summer Concert Series at 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 21, at the Los Angeles Newspaper Group Grandstand Stage. The Fair is scheduled for Sept. 12-28.
The show is a version of the MARIACHI USA Fiesta performed annually at the Hollywood Bowl. MARIACHI USA won the 2002 Imagen Award for "Best Variety/ Music Special." The concert features performances by Mariachi Imperial de Mexico, Rhonda Garcia, Maureen Sanchez and Melinda Salcido.
Mariachi Imperial de Mexico is an all male group that has performed for audiences throughout Mexico 1968. The group formed in Mexico when the Rodriguez family and the Moreno family united. Mariachi Imperial de Mexico first performed in the United States in 1976 at the Tlaquepaque Restaurant in Placentia, Calif. Today, the group consists of 13 members directed by J. Mario Rodriguez.
Rhonda Garcia is a featured performer with MARIACHI USA Fiesta. Garcia, a McAllen, Texas, native who lives in San Antonio, plays the violin and sings. She has performed with a number of well-known singers and groups, including all-male groups Mariachi Campanas de America and Mariachi Los Caporales.
Melinda Salcido grew up in Fresno, Calif., surrounded by Mexican music. She began performing at family gatherings when she was 2 years old, eventually performing at public festivals, concerts and on local television and radio stations. She has performed throughout the United States and Mexico with prestigious groups Mariachi Cobre, Mariachi Imperial de Mexico, Mariachi Vargas and Mariachi Los Camperos. Salcido honed her singing and instrument skills on her self-titled album, Melinda.
Youngster Maureen Sanchez will also take to the stage as part of the MARIACHI USA Fiesta. The 9-year-old Whittier, Calif., native is a singing sensation with Mariachi Oro Angelino, which features middle and high school students from Los Angeles County. Sanchez has also been a featured singer with the MARIACHI USA Foundation at the Hollywood Bowl.
The unique and multicultural ensemble MARIACHI DIVAS will also have Fairguests dancing in their seats. The group adds percussion instruments to traditional Mariachi instruments and incorporates jazz, cumbia, salsa and meringue to traditional Mariachi music. The group includes ten women of Mexican, Samoan, Costa Rican, Cuban, Panamanian, Honduran, African American and Anglo decent. Nearly all the women have college degrees and several have degrees in music. MARIACHI DIVAS will release their first album in early August and appear in the upcoming documentary "Viva El Mariachi."
Mariachi music is an integral part of the Mexican culture and history. The mariachi ensemble and mariachi music originated in the early 19th century in the Jalisco region of Mexico, particularly in the city of Guadalajara. Traditional mariachi songs speak of love, heroes, death, politics, revolution, betrayal and animals. Mariachi singers are accompanied by musicians playing a variety of instruments, including violin, trumpet, guitar, guitarrón (large bass guitars), vihuela (round back guitar) and harp.
General admission to see MARIACHI USA is free with Fair admission. Reserved seating tickets may be purchased for $17.50 each and stageside seating for $50, which does not include Fair admission, at the Fairplex credentials office, 1101 McKinley Ave., Pomona, or on<