Celebrating the talent and strength of women musicians, the 4th Annual Mariachi Women's Festival returns to Los Angeles with the theme "Viva Veracruz". Founded and produced by mariachi musician and Harvard graduate, Dr. Leonor Xochitl Perez, the event takes place Saturday, March 25th at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse.
This year's festival is a musical journey that will go from jarocho fandango to mariachi fiesta featuring two-time Grammy winning all female ensemble, Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea, Mariachi Las Alteñas from San Antonio, Texas and female jarocho ensemble Caña Dulce y Caña Brava from Veracruz, Mexico.
To add to the musical splendor, Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles will dance during the Mariachi Las Alteñas performance. The festival will begin with son jarocho classics such as La Bamba and El Cascabel performed by the jarocho ensemble and the mariachi groups will follow with mariachi renditions of songs from Veracruz and traditional mariachi favorites.
The festival will also showcase important non-Latino contributors to the preservation of Mexican musical traditions. Special guests include Libby and Cindy Harding, who perform traditional Jarocho music and were the first women jarocho performers in the U.S. Also joining them is Junko Seki, a Japanese Mariachi singer who has performed with some of the world's most famous mariachi groups such as Mariachi Los Camperos and Mariachi Vargas.
"It's an honor to acknowledge, highlight and spread awareness of the important role that mariachi women continue to have in keeping the mariachi tradition alive," expressed Dr. Leonor Xochitl Perez, founder and producer of the 4th Annual Mariachi Women's Festival. "Through my work with this festival and the foundation, I hope to continue to empower and celebrate the great talent, intelligence and strength of women in mariachi, often overlooked in this historically male-dominated musical genre."
A pre-concert community event will delight audiences at the playhouse entrance starting at 5:30 p.m. with performances by Mariachi Femenil HERENCIA, a community-based youth female mariachi group from the Mariachi HERENCIA Academy in Corona, Calif. and the Ballet Folklorico Raices de Mexico L.A.
This evening will mark the launch of the College Scholarship for Mariachi Women. A scholarship will be awarded during the show to a deserving musician student enrolled in a college or university and majoring in a STEM field. The scholarship is a partnership with the Women's City Club of Pasadena and the Soroptimists of Altadena/Pasadena whose mission is to empower and improve the lives of women and girls.
The Mariachi Women's Festival is produced by The Mariachi Women's Foundation in partnership with the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse and is part of their Community Engagement Program Engage! This year's festival also counts on the support of various community partners including: Casa 0101 Theatre; Familia Unida; KPFK's "The Pocho Hour of Power" Radio Show; LunaSol Mexican Villiage; Mariachi HERENCIA Academy; San Diego Mariachi Scholarship Foundation; Southwest Airlines; The Mariachi Conservatory; The Soroptimists of Altadena/Pasadena; and The Women's City Club of Pasadena.