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Viva Southwest Mariachi Festival

February 15, 2020

The Metropolitan State University of Denver Department of Music and the Latino Cultural Arts Center of Colorado proudly present the 2020 Viva Southwest Mariachi Festival Workshop & Showcase on Saturday, February 15, 2020, at the King Center Concert Hall on the Auraria Campus in Denver. 

The event provides workshops for students of all ages; including those in elementary, middle, and high school, as well as university and community participants from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming.  Throughout the day, students are taught by professional and award-winning masters of mariachi in music, song, and instrumentation (trumpet, violin, vihuela, guitarron, voice), and ensemble performance.  The day will culminate in a spectacular Mariachi Concert showcase featuring over 200 students in their respective performance groups. For the last three years, we’ve had the pleasure of presenting sold-out shows with the tremendous support from our community.

Mariachi is an essential part of the mosaic of American identity.  It unites all people in a fiesta of sound that excites both listeners and participants.  Attendees gain an appreciation of the richness of the Mexican culture and an understanding of history through music.  Musicians and singers gain a sense of enjoyment by learning about the vast repertoire of compositions with lyrics that tell a story of life, love, challenges, and historical figures.  Mariachi is a unique musical genre because of the instrumentation; guitarrón and vihuela that are only played in mariachi. Highlighted themes include love, betrayal, death, politics, heroes and can be performed anywhere and anytime and is not limited to stages.  Methods and styles include Son Jalisciense, Bolero, Huapango, Ranchera, Corrido and Waltz. Performers wear traditional Mariachi clothing known as traje, as they honor their past and celebrate the present.

This unique opportunity to showcase Mariachi regionally empowers the youth to continue their professional careers as Mariachi musicians and instructors. Sessions range from beginner, intermediate and advanced skill levels. Recording artists, composers, and arrangers who will teach the classes include: 

Dr. Jeff Nevin, an award winning composer and author of Mariachi Mastery, a series of educational materials for educators and students.  His mariachi, Mariachi Champaña de Jeff Nevin, have traveled internationally for the U.S. Department of State; Chuy Hernández of the Grammy Nominated Mariachi Sol de México from Los Angeles, California; John Contreras from the national award-winning Mariachi Aztlán of Pueblo High School and former member of the Changuitos Feos (who later became the Disney Mariachi Cobre) and Mariachi Tlaquepaque from Tucson, Arizona; Rebecca Gonzales from the Mariachi Tesoro in Los Angeles and the First Professional Female Mariachi in America and former member of the Grammy award winning Mariachi los Camperos; Members of the Mariachi Sol de Mi Tierra of Juventino Romero; and Dr. Lorenzo A. Trujillo, Director and Professor of the Mariachi los Correcaminos de MSU Denver. The lead sponsor is the Latino Cultural Arts Center of Colorado with sponsors: Entravision, World Wide Money Exchange and Vela Insurance Agency.  Our sponsors make it possible for low cost registrations and concert fees.

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Students participating in the 2020 Viva Southwest Mariachi Festival Workshop & Showcase pay $25 tuition and that includes lunch, music, and concert attendance. Ensembles may register for an individual Master Class with Jeff Nevin for an additional $250 per group (limited to 4 ensembles on a First Register Reservation Basis). 

Tickets for the evening concert at 7:00 PM are available to the public for $15 through the King Center Box Office, 303-556-2296.  

When: Saturday, February 15, 2020, sessions and rehearsals during the day 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, evening concert at 7:00 pm
Where: Kenneth King Academic and Performing Arts Center on the Auraria Campus, 855 Lawrence Way, Denver CO 80204
Parking: : Free parking is available for all Music events in the 7th Street Parking Garage with a voucher upon exit.


Dr. Lorenzo Trujillo,, 303-615-1662

MSU Denver Music Department: 303-615-1010



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