For more information on the Viva Southwest Festival de Mariachi, or to purchase tickets, visit lcac-denver.org/vivasouthwestmariachifestival.
In 2017, a teenaged William Trevizo joined his father’s mariachi band, Mariachi Aguila de Denver. Needing a violin player, the band recruited the classically-trained student who quickly fell in love with the vibrant melodies and joyful rhythm of mariachi.
Now a 22-year-old music performance student at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Trevizo is a part of the all-state youth ensemble, Mariachi Estelares de Colorado — a prestigious performance group within the mariachi community.
“I’m truly excited to be able to share such a big part of Mexican culture,” said Trevizo. “It is also an honor to be able to share our culture with people whose culture is not Mexican — to share and teach why we love Mexican culture so much.”
The fifth annual Viva Southwest Festival de Mariachi is coming to Ruby Hill Park as part of the Levitt Pavilion Denver’s Free Summer Concert Series. The event will take place from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 25 at 1380 W. Florida Ave in Denver. A ticketed VIP reception begins at 3 p.m.
The MSU Department of Music and the Latino Cultural Arts Center of Colorado have teamed up to provide the night of music, food, drinks and fun for Denverites, families and anyone who loves traditional Mexican music and culture.
“This festival provides the greater community with a unique learning experience,” said Lorenzo Trujillo, festival director and mariachi instructor at MSU. “It is unique because there is no other place where our youth can study mariachi music with other students from throughout the state, and to learn from the great mariachi teachers from throughout the nation. The concerts provide an enjoyable experience with music provided by our youth where everyone benefits from the joy and pleasure of mariachi — the music of Mexican people.”
The yearly music festival is a time when the Denver Latinx community comes together to celebrate mariachi, which is a Mexican music tradition dating back to the early 18th century. A typical mariachi band consists of several instruments including vocals; guitar; vihuela; guitarrón, which is an acoustic bass; violin; and trumpet. Oftentimes, a mariachi band will have several of each of these instruments.
This year, the concert boasts Mariachi Estelares de Colorado as the opening act and the world-renowned Lupita Infante performing alongside Mariachi Sol de Mi Tierra, which is a local band.
Mariachi Estelares de Colorado is the first all-state youth ensemble in mariachi. After a lengthy nomination and audition process, 12 exceptional student musicians were selected, representing communities across Colorado — Denver, Commerce City, Longmont, Pueblo and Westminster.
“I’m really excited to perform with Colorado’s first all-state mariachi, Mariachi Estelares de Colorado,” Infante said. “It’s a beautiful venue, and I’m really looking forward to connecting with the audience and creating lasting memories.”
Infante will headline the festival with her bold, regional Mexican sound. Being the granddaughter of the late mariachi superstar Pedro Infante, Lupita Infante has more than 50,000 followers on Instagram and more than 75,000 on Facebook. She has been nominated for both Grammy and Latin Grammy awards.
“Pedro Infante was one of the world’s greatest singers of mariachi music. Lupita is now carrying forth his legacy,” Trujillo said. “She represents the future of our youth as presented by our historical music.”
Lupita’s 2021 Grammy-nominated debut album, “La Serenata,” opened the door to stardom while paying tribute to the tradition and beauty of her heritage. She believes in the in the power of progress and advocates for woman empowerment throughout her music within an industry historically dominated by men.
“Mariachi for me is the most beautiful and elegant music of Mexico. It is a living part of our culture. In it, there is a past that created the music and over time — much like our traditions — it has evolved, traveled and inspired many hearts,” Infante said. “When you hear mariachi music, it takes you on a journey through time and space. For me, it is how I connect with my ancestors, to my father, and my grandfather.”
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