FESTIBA Mariachi Festival


Greetings Friends!

We hope that you all are having a great fall semester and are healthy and safe!! The theme of FESTIBA 2024 is Inspiring Hope and Prosperity Through Arts and Literacy and we are planning a great week of exciting and memorable activities! The FESTIBA 2024 Mariachi Festival will take place on March 1st & 2nd. We are posting the registration forms soon on the UTRGV FESTIBA website.  Please submit by February 1st, 2024 at festiba@utrgv.edu. Workshop and Competition schedule to follow.

We are proud and excited to introduce our special guests for FESTIBA 2024!!


Mariachi Los Camperos represent the dignity, heart, and soul of traditional Mexican music.
Founded in 1961 by the visionary Natividad "Nati" Cano, the Grammy award-winning group has played a significant role in developing the mariachi tradition across the United States and worldwide. They made history as the first mariachi ensemble ever to play Carnegie Hall in New York City, recorded and toured with Linda Ronstadt, and have released a dozen artful albums that breathe new life into traditional pieces, contributing to the recognition that mariachi music has attained. After years of working under Nati's tutelage, musical director Jesús "Chuy" Guzmán leads the Mariachi Los Camperos legacy today, providing the vision for their sound and repertoire through rich and elegant arrangements.

Read more about Chuy Guzmán and Mariachi Los Camperos.

Explore the group's recordings on Folkways.

The Making of a Maestro: Mariachi Los Camperos Leader Chuy Guzmán
August 21, 2019 | Daniel Sheehy 

It’s as if he were born to lead a world-renowned mariachi ensemble. In fact, the die may have been cast before he was born. His father was a professional mariachi musician in the coastal town of Ensenada, Baja California, just south of the border with the United States. He undoubtedly heard the music from inside his mother’s womb.
Jesús Guzmán was born in 1964 and known by the nickname “Chuy.” By the early 1970s, he was inspired to follow in his father’s footsteps as a violinist. After school each day, “I would get my violin, my records, and practice into the night,” he recalls. He started his own group with his brothers and friends, rehearsed them, and took up the guitarrón and vihuela (bass and rhythm guitars, respectively) as well as the violin.

As a young man, Chuy moved to Tijuana, playing in the restaurant Carnitas Uruapan, known for decades as the home of the best mariachi music of the region. There in 1984 and 1985, he experienced one of the most intense learning opportunities that mariachi culture offers: playing ten to seventeen hours a day in the demanding musical setting known as al talón (from talón, “heel,” referring to walking from customer to customer). Successful talón musicians must know by memory a repertoire of literally thousands of pieces, since they get paid for playing requests. Put simply, if musicians don’t know a song requested by a customer, they don’t get paid. It’s a powerful incentive to build repertoire.

At Carnitas Uruapan, Chuy played violin with his regular group from noon to about 10 p.m., and often would sit in with the other house mariachi which took over at 10 and played until the customers left, usually at 4 or 5 a.m. He estimates that on a long work day, he would play about 150 pieces.
“It was like a train runs over you, but it was beautiful experience, an experience spending time with two very beloved groups there in Tijuana.”

Along the way, he took up the fourth of the four main mariachi instruments—the trumpet—to fill in when a trumpet player couldn’t show up or needed a break. Chuy forged his impressive musical skills in the two major “conservatories” of mariachi culture: the family and al talón. Click Here to Read More!

Plan to join us at FESTIBA 2024!! It will be a great workshop, competition and concert!

Warmest regards,
Dahlia & Francisco



Schedule to come.

FESTIBA 2024 will culminate with a mariachi conference with the fabulous
Mariachi Los Camperos

We will be hosting a workshop, competition, and Grand Concert on
March 1st and 2nd, 2023


Nuestra Cultural Mariachi Festival in collaboration with FESTIBA 2024

Mariachi Workshop, Competition and Concert


Check back for more information!

Dahlia Guerra
Special Asst Dean Outreach & Partherships
College of Fine Arts
EPACB B2.133
Phone: 956-665-2353
Email: dahlia.guerra@utrgv.edu

Francisco Loera
Senior Lecturer
Email: francisco.loera@utrgv.edu