FESTIBA Mariachi Festival 2021


Greetings Mariachi Friends!

We hope that you all are healthy and safe, and we wish you a very Happy New Year!!

This has been an unusual year, to say the least, and we are told that the Spring of 2021 continues in like fashion. But FESTIBA 2021 must go on! So let’s plan for a virtual festival!

The literary and performing arts have seen the world through many times of crisis. As we adjust to new realities during the ongoing pandemic, FESTIBA 2021, in general, will focus on Building Resilience Through Arts and Literacy. With the transformative power of the arts and their ability to foster resilience, FESTIBA 2021 will examine and highlight the use of the creative process to find comfort during times of struggle and promote a sense of emotional and psychological well-being.  Many of the events and presentations during the week will explore creative opportunities for the students in our community to cope with the recent educational and emotional challenges of the pandemic

Our FESTIBA 2021 Mariachi Festival will be unique this year and we are striving to make it memorable and impactful for both directors and students. For this reason, we are bringing you the leaders who guide and inspire the very best mariachi ensembles that exist in the world!

 Clinician Collage

Our virtual guests and clinicians of the FESTIBA 2021 Mariachi Festival include the internationally renowned Maestro José Hernández, considered the mariachi leader in the United States and innovative force behind mariachi music and mariachi education, as the founder/director of the Mariachi Sol de Mexico de José Hernández.
On our fabulous lineup of mariachi educators is Jesús “Chuy” Guzmán.  He leads Mariachi Los Camperos, continuing Nati Cano’s legacy and tradition of excellence and providing the leadership and vision for Grammy award winning performances in high-profile venues.  
World class singer and trumpet player Esteban Steve” Carrillo will represent Mariachi Cobre, one of the best known mariachi bands in the United States, performing for millions of visitors at Epcot Center, Disney World in Orlando, Florida since 1982.   

We are excited to welcome members of the acclaimed and world-renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, including Carlos Martínez, musical director, vocalist/violinist, Gilberto Aguirre, vihuela, Augustín Sandoval, trumpet, and Jonathan Palomar, guitar/voice.  These great musicians will be presenting talks and tutorials for directors and students in their respective fields.
We are also honored to welcome back Jonathan Clark, foremost mariachi historian, Maestro Jorge Iván Velasco, world renowned folk harpist, Josue (Eddy) López, mariachi musician and arranger, Mónica Fogelquist, mariachi musician and director of the UT Mariachi program, Adolfo Estrada, mariachi musician and PhD candidate at Texas Tech University,and UTRGV Aztlan alumni – Fernando Mendoza on voice, Nathan Garcia on guitarron and Orlando de León on violin.  We are assisted by members of the UTRGV Mariachi Aztlán.

FESTIBA 2021 Workshop Fee is $25.00, and includes all workshop presentations, the Vocal Competition Concert, Mariachi Showcase Concert and Mariachi Vargas Concert. (More info and details to come on competition rules, logistics and links.)  

Entry Fee for competing in the Vocal Competition is an additional $20.


Friday, February 26th, 2021

We have decided to have an additional theme for the festival, and we will focus this year on the “Son.” This topic provides lots of possibilities for research and ideas/techniques of performance practices!  We are delighted to have these special friends and mariachi masters joining us! The FESTIBA 2021 Mariachi Festival Workshops will include seven unique presentations for directors, and a variety of student tutorials on selected music.  The clinicians will be available by Zoom during their presentations for discussion and Q & As.

Workshop Schedule - Click Here to Download

Saturday, February 27th, 2021


The Mariachi Festival includes a virtual Vocal Competition, a Showcase of Mariachi Ensembles (Middle School, High School and University), and a beautiful virtual concert production by the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, filmed in Tequila, Jalisco and available only to workshop attendees.  

8:00 PM MARIACHI VARGAS CONCERT from Tequila, Jalisco

Dr. Dahlia Guerra
Assistant Vice-President of Public Art
Email: dahlia.guerra@utrgv.edu
Phone(956) 655-2811

Francisco Loera
Director, UTRGV Mariachi Program
Email: francisco.loera@utrgv.edu
Phone: (956) 533-7483