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Viva Southwest Mariachi Workshops & Showcase presented by LCAC and MSU Denver logo

The Metropolitan State University of Denver Department of Music and the Latino Cultural Arts Center of Colorado proudly present the 2023 Viva Southwest Mariachi Workshops & Showcase on April 14 & 15, 2023.

Join us on the Auraria Campus for two days of workshops with Master Mariachi Maestros, culminating in an evening showcase featuring participating student groups.

Workshops & Masterclasses

Musicians of all skill levels are invited to immerse themselves in two days of Mariachi lectures, masterclasses, and workshops with Master Mariachi Maestros.

Registration is open to school Mariachi ensembles (grades 5-12 and undergraduate), and individual students or community members. Registrants can expect to attend daily lectures, and break out into workshops according to skill level (beginning or intermediate/advanced) and instrument (violin, trumpet, guitarrón, armonia, voice).

School Directors have the option of registering their student ensemble for a masterclass with Maestro Jeff Nevin for an additional fee. This option is limited to four groups on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ensembles also have the option of performing in the evening Showcase on April 15!

View the Schedule below for more details.


Registration Details

Pre-Registration is Required | Registration has now closed

Date: April 14-15, 2023
Location: The Auraria Campus in Denver, CO
Registration Fee: $40 per student or individual, includes lunch and music for both days
Masterclass with Jeff Nevin (optional, limited to 4 groups): $250
Director’s Complete Musical Score (optional): $75

If you have filled out the registration form prior to April 3 but still need to submit payment, please contact Kimberly Wendt at [email protected].


April 14, 2023

8 – 9 am: Check-in
9 – 10 am: General Session Lecture from the Maestros
10 am – 4 pm: Breakout Sessions by level and instrument
4 – 5 pm: General Session to play pieces rehearsed by students

April 15, 2023

9 – 10 am: General Session Lecture from the Maestros
10 am – 4 pm: Breakout Session by level and instrument
4 – 5 pm: General Session to play pieces rehearsed by students for presentation at the Showcase
5 – 7 pm: Soundcheck for the Showcase ensembles
7 – 9 pm: Showcase Concert for the ensembles who have applied and are accepted

Dr. Jeff Nevin

Lead Maestro, Masterclass Instructor

Jeff Nevin headshotJeff Nevin, Ph. D., works professionally as a classical trumpet player, mariachi trumpeter and soloist, and a conductor specializing in the interpretation of Mexican music. Currently he works as Professor of Music and Director of Mariachi Activities at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, CA, where he devised and is now offering the world’s first college degree in mariachi music. He is a founding member of the Mariachi Scholarship Foundation that has awarded $500,000 to students pursuing careers in music. Dr. Nevin founded the San Diego International Mariachi Summit which brings together top musicians, dancers, teachers, historians and historical figures to promote mariachi music and education. Classrooms across the United States and Mexico use his book, “Mariachi Master,” to help mariachi students become better musicians.

Dr. Lorenzo A. Trujillo

Lead Maestro

Lorenzo Trujillo headshotLorenzo A. Trujillo, Ed.D., J.D. grew up in Denver and spent many summers in Arroyo Seco, New Mexico (eight miles outside of Taos) with his extended family.  He was highly influenced by his aunt, Eva Nuánez, as a vocalist, guitarist, and violinist.  He also engaged his energies in ethnic dance and collaborated with his mother, Marie Orália Durán Trujillo, in the formation of the Southwest Dancers in the early 1970’s.  He taught Mexican Folkdance and Flamenco at the Sangre De Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo, Colorado, the University of Colorado at Boulder and Denver, and at San Francisco State University.  He is the Director of the Mariachi Program at Metropolitan State University in Denver (see Facebook page and webpage

For over two decades, he was a member of the Mariachi Alegre de San Cayetano where he played violin and sang.  As a musician, dancer, and culture bearer, Lorenzo was awarded the Colorado Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.  He was inducted into the Colorado Chicano Music Hall of Fame and has served on the National Endowment for the Arts as a performing artist, grants panelist, and arts program evaluator.  He was also named a Colorado Folk Artist and Master Teacher by the Colorado Council on the Arts through the Master/Apprentice Program and in 2012 was awarded the Tesoro de Oro by the Tesoro Cultural Center.

Lorenzo formed the Southwest Musicians in the late 1980’s, recording several musical standards that are part of a vast repertoire of regional social dances and popular Mexican music of the early and mid-twentieth century.  Among his recordings are: Musical Traditions of Colorado and New Mexico (Southwest Musicians); Con Cariño (Mariachi Alegre); A Musical Banquet: From Santa Fe to Denver (with E.J. Rodriguez), and, The Golden Age of the Southwest: From 1840 to Hollywood. He has toured in Ireland, Peru and Italy, presenting traditional music, liturgical and classical repertoire.

In his noted publication, Music of Colorado and New Mexico’s Río Grande, in Enduring Legacies: Ethnic Histories and Culture of Colorado, University of Colorado Press, Lorenzo highlights the history of the Casorio and Entriega wedding traditions celebrated throughout the Upper Río Grande Region of Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico of the 1840’s.  He holds a Doctorate in Education and Juris Doctorate Degrees (Ed.D., J.D.) and served as Assistant Dean and Professor at the University of Colorado School of Law.

Currently, he is the Director of the Mariachi Program at Metropolitan State University of Denver, the President of Hilos Culturales, a non-profit organization that preserves, promotes, and presents Hispanic traditions from the 1840’s of Colorado and New Mexico.  He serves as the Director of, Nuestras Raices: Música Mariachi Rocky Ridge Music, Vice Chairman, Tesoro Cultural Center, Director, Viva Southwest Mariachi Festival Workshop & Showcase, Director, Latino Cultural Arts Center Mariachi Program,  Director, Southwest Musicians, and Trustee, Colorado Symphony.

David Gill

Violin (intermediate/advanced)

David Gill playing a violinDavid Gill was born in Tucson, Arizona and began playing violin in 1987 with the nationally recognized youth group Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos until his senior year of high school. After graduating high school, he continued his musical path by playing with local groups in Tucson such as Mariachi Tierra del Sol. In 2000, he moved to Los Angeles to play with the renowned Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez. In the summer of 2001, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona and it was there where he started teaching community youth groups.

In 2007, he returned to Tucson to take on a full-time teaching position. Since then, he has had many teaching opportunities such as instructing the Master Class for the Tucson International Mariachi Conference from the year 2000 to present, being a guest teacher in Chicago for several mariachi camps, and violin instructor for the Chacala, Nayarit Mariachi Institute from 2016 to 2018, just to name a few.

Amongst his teaching opportunities, Mr. Gill has always believed in continuing to hone his craft. In doing so, he attended the Dorothy DeLay Symposium in 2019 at the Juilliard School of Music. He also studied with the world renowned concertmaster Steven Staryk. During the pandemic, Mr. Gill did not stop playing his music and continued to teach online as well as give private lessons. It was during this time that he received the Master Apprentice Award for the Southwest Folklife Alliance that is supported by the National Endowment of the Arts.

Today, Mr. Gill currently teaches at three Tucson area schools, is the Musical Director of Mariachi Pueblo Viejo, and works with several community youth groups. He has a profound love for teaching and is committed to passing and continuing the art of mariachi.

Dr. Philip Ficsor

Violin (intermediate/advanced)

Philip Ficsor headshotPhilip Ficsor has released four recordings which have been aired in the US on WGBH, WNYC and KUSC among others. He has been featured as a performer across the US and Europe, notably in Prague CZ, Budapest, St. Petersburg, Russia, Ghent, Belgium as well as performances at the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Michigan, and the International Horn Society (2018). A recent recording of two world-premieres on Naxos feature his performance of Bolcom’s Second Suite for Solo Violin and Bolcom’s Horn Trio. Gramophone described his playing as “impressive” and the horn trio recording as “splendidly intense and involving.” He received his DMA in violin performance from Boston University, his MM from Yale University, and his BA from the University of Michigan. He is an editorial advisor for publication through E.B. Marks/Hal Leonard Corporation for Bolcom’s works for violin and piano. He directs the mariachi ensemble Los Correcaminos de MSU Denver and coordinates the string program as part of the music faculty of Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Chino Carrillo

Guitarrón (intermediate/advanced)

Chino Carrillo headshotBorn and raised in Zacatecas, Mexico, Jose “Chino” Carrillo came to the USA in 1991. He started playing mariachi in 1994. He has been part of the prestigious “Albuquerque Mariachi Spectacular” conference for the last 23 years as a guitarrón instructor. Jose has also been a “Master of Ceremonies” for this event on a few occasions. Jose has done recordings, arrangements, accompaniments, and produced mariachi music for artists such as Lorenzo Antonio, Sparx, Yolanda Del Rio, Beatriz Adriana, Paquita la del Barrio, Jenni Rivera, Los Huracanes del Norte, and Ana Barbara to name a few. Jose’s passion for mariachi goes beyond boundaries, he is a music teacher for Albuquerque Public Schools. He teaches mariachi to elementary, high school, and university students. Jose is passionate about teaching mariachi music to the future generations!

Juventino Romero

Trumpet (intermediate/advanced)

Juventino Romero performing with trumpet onstageMariachi Sol de mi Tierra was formed through the idea to show people something fresh and different from the already existing groups in Denver, Colorado. On August 6th of 1999, four young enthusiasts, Oscar Vaca, Jesus Ramirez, Raul Romero, and Vicente Romero, gave their complete trust and hope to whom would be the leader of the group, Juventino Romero. Together sitting at a table they decided to plan this adventure that with a lot of determination, practice and hard work, soon would blossom into something wonderful. Throughout the years more musicians would join, which lead to the eight musicians that are a part of the group today.

Mariachi Sol de mi Tierra enjoys a prestige that they have gained along the years. In the past twelve years they have been a part of events associated with the National Western Stock Show and for the past nine years they have shared the stage with the Colorado Symphony in the festivities for Cinco de Mayo at Boettcher Concert Hall. The group has also accompanied great Mexican singers that have performed in Denver. With a firm belief to keep demonstrating a beautiful part of the Mexican culture, Mariachi Sol de mi Tierra is now more and better than ever offering to their audience dedication, love, and passion for their music.

Camilla Ruiz

Armonia (intermediate/advanced)

Camilla Ruiz headshotOriginally from Colorado, Camilla Ruiz has been a part of a few mariachi groups in the area allowing her to grow, not only as a player, but as a community member as well. She attended Bryant Webster Dual Language K-8 School where, as she states, if it wouldn’t have been for her mom being so supportive when it came to extracurricular activities, she wouldn’t be where she is today. The afterschool mariachi program was an extracurricular opportunity that ended up playing a big role in Camilla’s life. Camilla continued with her education and at Metropolitan State University of Denver she joined the Mariachi Correcaminos where she continued her mariachi journey. She then began playing, or as we like to say it, gigging, with local groups over the weekends and realized how much she enjoyed it. She transferred to the University of New Mexico in 2019, where she also joined Mariachi Juvenil de la Universidad de Nuevo Mexico and shortly after getting accustomed to New Mexico, began gigging with local groups too. Camilla now, has moved to Los Angeles where during the week she is a Paralegal at an Immigration Law firm, and during the weekends she is a mariachi with groups as professional as Mariachi Lindas Mexicanas to any group that is needing additional armonia players.

Mónica Fogelquist

Voice (all levels)

Monica Fogelquist headshotMónica Fogelquist is currently the director of Mariachi Paredes at the University of Texas at Austin. She also teaches courses on the history of Mariachi music and regional styles of Mexican and border music. She has been a member of prestigious mariachi groups such as, José Hernández’s Mariachi Reyna de Los Ángeles and the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley’s Mariachi Aztlán. In addition to her performance experience, she has made Mariachi music the focal point of her academic studies. She holds a MM from University of the Rio Grande Valley in Ethnomusicology and intends to continue with her doctoral studies in the future.

William Trevizo

Violin (Beginning)

William Trevizo HeadshotWilliam Trevizo is a professional mariachi and studies Music Performance at MSU Denver.

He forms part of his dad’s mariachi band “Mariachi Aguila” in Denver, Colorado.

“Music is my passion, mariachi is my heart.”

Mateo Martinez

Trumpet (Beginning)

Mateo Martinez headshotMateo Martinez is currently the director of Mariachi Los Mensajeros de Denver Co and teaches with the Colorado Youth Mariachi Program. Starting out at a young age in school strings/band and orchestra, Martinez took a serious interest around 1998 when Mariachi San Luis was formed after a series of classes given by students of NMHU in Alamosa Co. He took up guitar and vihuela and studied armonia with maestros  Alfredo Gurule of Mariachi Tenampa, Nick Branchal director of the Taos HS Mariachi and also later at Adams State College Mariachi Corazón del Valle, all the while practicing and performing with Mariachi San Luis. He studied trumpet in college and took lessons with Miguel Ojeda of Mariachi Tenampa and followed the group around and took notes. While gigging with 3-4 groups regularly, he worked alongside a man named Usbaldo Juarez and learned a wealth of improvisation and embouchure for Mariachi-style playing. He has taught in Sandoval County for the Bernalillo schools in their school mariachi programs as well as a charter school in Albuquerque. He studied further in armonia with maestro Chino Rodriguez in Denver and taught alongside him for many years at CU and performed on regular intervals with him and Mariachi Sol de Mi Tierra. He has performed with mariachi groups at international folk music festivals across the world in China, Italy, France, Monaco, and Switzerland.

Westley Lawrence

Guitarrón (Beginning)

Westley Lawrence placying Guitarrón in front of treesWestley Lawrence began playing Guitarrón while attending Questa High School in northern New Mexico. He then attended Adams State College where he had the opportunity to play with Mariachi Corazón Del Valle under Mr. Nick Branchal, and later graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Music Composition and Theory. Westley has been a member of various Mariachi and other music groups in New Mexico and Colorado, and has lived in the Denver Metro area since 2011. He joined Mariachi Los Mensajeros in 2021. 

Vicente Miranda Leon

Armonia (Beginning)

Vicente Miranda headshotFor the last eleven years, mariachi has been an integral part of Vicente Miranda Leon’s life. Being a former member of various Mariachi groups, including but not limited to, award winning Mariachi Aztlán de Pueblo High School, under the direction of John Contreras and Mariachi Tesoro de Tucson, under the direction of Adrian Perez, and Mariachi Sonido de Mexico, under the direction of Alberto Jimenez Maeda. Vicente has since founded and, continues to, direct his own Mariachi, Mariachi Nuevo Azteca. Currently studying at the University of Arizona, Vicente also has studied at various Mariachi Conferences throughout the United States, most notably the Tucson International Mariachi Conference where has since been teaching for the last four years, while also receiving private education from current Mariachi Vargas guitar player, Jonathan Palomar. Vicente has also participated in workshops taught by Dr. Adolfo Estrada, current Mariachi director of the University of Texas San Antonio, as well as workshops put on in Chula Vista, California by Dr. Jeff Nevin, Director of Mariachi Activities at Southwestern College. Musical education extends farther than just performance, studying under University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Mariachi Aztlán and receiving private instruction from Berkelee School of Music grad and current director of Mariachi Sol Azteca from Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy, Josue Eduardo Lopez. Vicente is also the recipient of the Southwest Folklife Master/Apprentice program where he is currently working under the guidance of John Contreras in Mariachi studies. Furthermore, Vicente’s teaching resume extends locally as the former Armonia instructor for Mariachi Milagro.

Viva Southwest Mariachi Festival in Fall

Viva Southwest Mariachi Festival


Levitt Pavilion at night with mariachi group on stage
The Viva Southwest Mariachi Festival on September 25, 2022. Photo: Eric Einstein

As part-two of Viva Southwest, the Latino Cultural Arts Center and MSU Denver Department of Music present a special evening of Mariachi. The Viva Southwest Mariachi Festival takes place during the Fall and features a sensational lineup that includes a headliner and a special performance by Mariachi Estelares de Colorado, Colorado’s All-State Youth Mariachi Ensemble.

Students grades 9-12 and undergraduate are invited to audition for 2023’s Mariachi Estelares de Colorado for the opportunity to perform at the Viva Southwest Mariachi Festival. Video auditions are being accepted until March 17, 2023. Selected participants will be announced at the Viva Southwest Workshops and Showcase in April.


King Center on the Auraria Campus

855 Lawrence Way
Denver, CO 80204

Google Map

Lorenzo Trujillo playing violin


Dr. Lorenzo Trujillo

Director of Mariachi Ensemble
[email protected]