Mariachi conference passes along the tradition


The 26th Annual Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference, Nov. 6-10, focuses on education and entertainment, with approximately 400 students attending workshops in mariachi music, voice and folkloric dance. All proceeds support the New Mexico Advocates for the Arts.

Workshops take place at New Mexico State University’s Corbett Center. Entertainment unfolds at Amador Live and on Plaza de Las Cruces (see schedule).

“Having the Las Cruces International Mariachi International Conference in our community as a staple annual event is so important to our culture, our heritage and is key to preserving and passing on the traditions of our ancestors,” said New Mexico Advocates for the Arts Executive Director Robert Palacios.

“With these performances and educational opportunities for our youth, we build the next generation of artists and leaders in our community and beyond.”

The Friday night Spectacular Concert features Mariachi Ángeles de Pepe Martinez Jr., Mariachi Rayos del Sol and Los Hermanos Escamilla.

Jose “Pepe” Martinez Jr.’s biggest mentor was his father, affectionately known as “Don Pepe,” who led Mexico’s Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán to international stardom for 40 years. With more than 25 years as a member of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, Pepe Jr. now brings his leadership to his new group, Mariachi Ángeles.

Mariachi Rayos del Sol consists mainly of high school students from Del Rio, Texas. Los Hermanos Escamilla are national champions of the traditional art of trick roping known as “Floreo de Soga.”

For ticket and registration information, call 575-680-3123; visit