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05l06 Youth Education

Creative Teachers...Intelligent Students...Real Learning

Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano
Teacher Resource Guide
UMS gratefully acknowledges the
About UMS following corporations, foundations,
and government agencies for their
One of the oldest performing arts presenters in the coun- generous support of the UMS Youth
try, UMS serves diverse audiences through multi- Education Program:
disciplinary performing arts programs in three distinct but
interrelated areas: presentation, creation, and education.

With a program steeped in music, dance, theater, and
education, UMS hosts approximately 80 performances Michigan Council for Arts and
and 150 free educational activities each season. UMS Cultural Affairs
also commissions new work, sponsors artist residencies, University of Michigan
and organizes collaborative projects with local, national as Arts at Michigan
well as many international partners. Linda and Maurice Binkow
Borders Group, Inc.
While proudly affiliated with the University of Michigan Chamber Music America
and housed on the Ann Arbor campus, UMS is a separate DailerChrysler Corporation Fund
not-for-profit organization that supports itself from ticket Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
sales, grants, contributions, and endowment income. DTE Energy Foundation
Dykema Gossett, PLLC
UMS Education and Heartland Arts Fund
Dr. Toni Hoover in memory of
Audience Development Dr. Issac Thomas III

Department JazzNet Endowment
JPMorgan Chase
Masco Corporation
UMS’s Education and Audience Development Department National Dance Project of the New England
seeks to deepen the relationship between audiences and Foundation for the Arts
art, as well as to increase the impact that the perform- National Endowment for the Arts
ing arts can have on schools and community. The pro- Pfizer Global Research and Development,
gram seeks to create and present the highest quality arts Ann Arbor Labratories
education experience to a broad spectrum of community ProQuest Company
constituencies, proceeding in the spirit of partnership and Prudence and Amnon Rosenthal
collaboration. K-12 Education Endowment Fund
TCF Bank
The department coordinates dozens of events with over TIAA-CREF
100 partners that reach more than 50,000 people Toyota Technical Center
annually. It oversees a dynamic, comprehensive program UMS Advisory Committee
encompassing workshops, in-school visits, master classes, University of Michigan Credit Union
lectures, youth and family programming, teacher U-M Office of the Senior Vice Provost for
professional development workshops, and “meet the Academic Affairs
artist” opportunities, cultivating new audiences while U-M Office of the Vice President of Research
engaging existing ones. Wallace Foundation

For advance notice of Youth Education events, join the Funded in part by the National Endowment
UMS Teachers email list by emailing for the Arts. or visit
This Teacher Resource Guide is a product of the University
Musical Society’s Youth Education Program. Researched and
written by Cecilia Fileti, David Hernandez, and Bree Juarez.
Edited by Ben Johnson and Bree Juarez. Tthe lesson plans
accompanying this Resource Guide have been provided by
students enrolled in Dr. Julie Taylor’s Multi-cultural Education
Cover Photo: Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano classes at the University of Michigan-Dearborn , and are noted
as such. All photos are courtesy of the artist unless otherwise
(Photo by Hugh Talman) noted.
UMS Youth Education
Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano
Friday, February 10, 12 noon
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor

Table of Contents
About the Performance
* 6 Coming to the Show
* 7 The Performance at a Glance
Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano
* 10 About Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano

13 History of Mariachi
* 17 Instruments of Mariachi
Short on Time? 19 Mariachi Song Forms

We’ve starred the 22 Quick Facts: Mexico
most important 25 Mexico Yesterday and Today
Lesson Plans
Only Have 28 Curriculum Connections
15 Minutes? 29 Meeting Michigan Standards

Try pages 7, 10, Resources
or 17 * 32 UMS Permission Slip
33 Bibliography/Discography
34 Internet Resources
35 Recommended Reading
36 Community Resources
* 37 Using the Resource DVD
38 Evening Performance/ Teen Ticket
39 How to Contact UMS

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Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano in performance (Photo by Hugh Talman)

About the
Coming to the Show (For Students)
We want you to enjoy your time in the theater, so here are some tips to make your Youth
Performance experience successful and fun! Please review this page prior to attending the

What should I do during the show?
Everyone is expected to be a good audience member. This keeps the show fun for everyone.
Good audience members...
• Are good listeners
• Keep their hands and feet to themselves
• Do not talk or whisper during the performance
• Laugh only at the parts that are funny
• Do not eat gum, candy, food or drink in the theater
• Stay in their seats during the performance
• Do not disturb the people sitting nearby or other schools in attendance

Who will meet us when we arrive?
After you exit the bus, UMS Education staff and greeters will be outside to meet you. They
might have special directions for you, so be listening and follow their directions. They will
take you to the theater door where ushers will meet your group. The greeters know that your
group is coming, so there’s no need for you to have tickets.

Who will show us where to sit?
The ushers will walk your group to its seats. Please take the first seat available. (When
everybody’s seated, your teacher will decide if you can rearrange yourselves.) If you need to
make a trip to the restroom before the show starts, ask your teacher.

How will I know that the show is starting?
You will know the show is starting because the lights in the auditorium will get dim, and a
member of the UMS Education staff will come out on stage to introduce the performance.

What if I get lost?
Please ask an usher or a UMS staff member for help. You will recognize these adults because
they have name tag stickers or a name tag hanging around their neck.

How do I show that I liked what I saw and heard?
The audience shows appreciation during a performance by clapping. In a musical perfor-
mance, the musicians and dancers are often greeted with applause when they first appear. It
is traditional to applaud at the end of each musical selection and sometimes after impressive
solos. At the end of the show, the performers will bow and be rewarded with your applause.
If you really enjoyed the show, give the performers a standing ovation by standing up and
clapping during the bows. For this particular show, it will be most appropriate to applaud at
the beginning and the ending.

What do I do after the show ends?
Please stay in your seats after the performance ends, even if there are just a few of you in your
group. Someone from UMS will come onstage and announce the names of all the schools.
When you hear your school’s name called, follow your teachers out of the auditorium, out of
the theater and back to your buses.

How can I let the performers know what I thought?
We want to know what you thought of your experience at a UMS Youth Performance. After
the performance, we hope that you will be able to discuss what you saw with your class. Tell
us about your experiences in a letter or drawing. Please send your opinions, letters or artwork
to: UMS Youth Education Program, 881 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1011.

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The Performance at a Glance
Who is Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano?
Mariachi Los Camperos De Nati Cano (pronounced mahree-AH-chee lohs cahm-
PEAR-ohs deh nah-tee cah-no) has existed for nearly 43 years and is noted for
demanding musical arrangements that highlight the individual skills and voices
of the players. The ensemble employs the finest musicians from Mexico and the
United States and has performed for audiences throughout United States and
Canada. They were one of four mariachis that collaborated with popular recording
artist Linda Ronsdadt on her album’s Canciones de MI Padre (Songs of My Father)
and Mas Canciones (More Songs). Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano has
appreaded on national television, including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
and the Grammy Awards Show.

Who is Natividad “Nati” Cano?
The highly respected Natividad “Nati” Cano is a pioneer and leader of the Mariachi
Renaissance in the United States and Mexico. He is credited for taking the mariachi
form from the streets to prestigious concert halls throughout the United States.
Born in the state of Jalisco, Mexico in 1933 to a family of day laborers, Nati Cano is
the director and founder of the Los Angeles based Mariachi Los Camperos. He was
awarded the National Endowment for the Arts-National Heritage Fellowship and
in Mexico, the coveted Sylvestre Vargas Award for artistic excellence. His ensemble
recently appeared on the PBS television special Americanos, filmed at the Kennedy

What is Mariachi?
The word “mariachi” is a term that can be used to describe the individual musi-
cian, the ensemble or the musical genre itself. In the complete Mariachi group
today there are as many as six to eight violins, two trumpets, and a guitar- all
standard European instruments. Then there is a high-pitched, round-backed guitar
called the vihuela, which when strummed in the traditional manner gives the Mari-
achi its typical rhythmic vitality; a deep-voiced guitar called the guitarrón which
serves as the bass of the ensemble; and a Mexican folk harp, which usually doubles
the base line, but also ornaments the melody. While these three instruments have
European origins, in their present form they are strictly Mexican.

The music of the mariachi band is a mixture of different indigenous sounds and
rhythms, combined with European and African elements. From Europe, it bor-
rowed many of the dance forms such as the waltz and the fandango. From Africa,
it borrowed dance rhythms and melodic ideas. The forms found in mariachi music
are, without a doubt, the most important element of the style. Mariachi song
forms (such as the bolero, canción ranchera, son, huapango, joropo, and danzón)
are always dictated by the rhythmic patterns that are performed by the guitar sec-
tion of the group. This is one of the few musical genres in which text does not
indicate form.

Mariachi music is one of the few styles of indigenous music that serves both a utili-
tarian and an entertainment function. The mariachi band is used for many different
occasions, such as dances, weddings, and funerals. It is not unusual to find the
group serenading a young woman on the occasion of her birthday, celebrating a
saint’s day, or singing to the mother of one of the band members on her birthday.
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People who enjoy mariachi music like it because it rekindles old memories, takes
them to places that are far away, or brings back scenes of childhood.

What will I see at the performance?
The performance of Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano features 10 mariachi
musicians playing the traditional mariachi instruments: Violin, vihuela, guitar, gui-
tarron, and trumpet. Their program will consist of arrangements of classic sons
(traditional mariachi music) from all over Mexico.

What are the instruments in a mariachi ensemble?

When used in the mariachi band, the violin is not altered in any way from its tradi-
tional use.

For photos of Vihuela
The vihuela is a creation of the Coca Indians of Southwestern Jalisco in Mexico.
the instruments It has five strings and a bowed back, and it is slightly larger than a ukelele. It is
played with a thumb pick in the rasqueado (strummed) style and is the harmonic
in a mariachi and rhythmic foundation of the mariachi band.

ensemble, see
A standard guitar is used (not altered in any way) and serves to supplement the
vihuela as a rhythmic element in the mariachi band. The guitar and the vihuela
pages 17-18 of this play the same rhythmic patterns and keep a strong foundation for the group. Typi-
cally, a guitar is used in a mariachi band about 98 percent of the time.
resouce guide
The guitarrón is the bass foundation of the group and is the single most important
element in the mariachi band. It serves not only as the bass of the group, but it
gives the group its characteristic sound. A rule of thumb is that if there is no gui-
tarrón, there should be no performance.

A standard trumpet is used (not altered in any way). At various times, the trumpet
players are asked to perform with cup mutes to make the sound softer and less

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Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano (Photo by Hugh Talman)

de Nati Cano
Mariachi Los
About Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano
Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano was formed 40 years ago. Its director, Nativi-
dad Cano, came to Los Angeles in 1957. For four years he worked as a musician,
later becoming the musical arranger for Mariachi Chapala. In 1961, Cano became
the musical director of Mariachi Chapala and changed their name to Mariachi Los
Camperos. The ensemble has since grown in prominence and gained international

Mariachi Los Camperos is noted for demanding musical arrangements that high-
light the individual skills and voices of the players. The ensemble employs the
finest musicians from Mexico and the United States and has performed for audi-
ences throughout the United States and Canada.

Mariachi Los Camperos was one of four mariachis that collaborated on Linda
Ronstadt’s album, Canciones de Mi Padre. In 1988-89, the group worked on the
promotion of the album, that included national television
appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and
the Grammy Awards Show. They also appear on Linda Ron-
stadt’s Mas Canciones.

The ensemble has recorded nine albums including: Puro
Mariachi (Indigo Records, 1961); North of the Border (RCA/
Carino Records, 1965); El Super Mariachi, Los Camperos
(Latin International, 1968); Valses de Amor (La Fonda Records,
1973); Canciones de Siempre (PolyGram Latino, 1993);
Sounds of Mariachi (Delfin Records, 1996); Fiesta Navidad
(Delfin Records, 1997; Viva el Mariachi (Smithsonian Folkways
Recordings, 2003); and ¡Llegaron Los Camperos! (Smithson-
ian Foldways Recordings, 2005). ¡Llegaron Los Camperos!
was recently nominated for a Grammy Award. The ensemble
shared a 2005 “Best Musical Album for Children” Grammy
Award for cELLAbration!, A tribute to Ella Jenkins.

Mariachi Los Camperos continues to raise the mariachi tradi-
tion to new heights, with an ever growing following of Latino
and non-Latino listeners and admires. Their contribution to
the musical life of Los Angeles and the entire southwest will
remain for generations to come.
Natividad “Nati”
Natividad “Nati” Cano, Founder and Director
A traditionalist and a visionary, Natividad “Nati” Cano has both mirrored and
shaped the history of mariachi music. He was born in 1933 into a family of maria-
chi musicians in the Mexican State of Jalisco (Ha-LEE-scoh). Nati’s career took
him first to nearby Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, and then further
away to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, he founded Los Camperos and has directed
the group for over 40 years. Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano is the most
accomplished and influential Mexican mariachi ensemble in the United States. The
ensemble is a major driving force of the marichi music tradition in this country,
and to a certain extent, in Mexico as well.

Nati first learned to play the vihuela (mariachi rhythm guitar) at the age of seven
from his father. Two years later, he began studying violin at the Academia de
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Música in nearby Guadalajara (gwah-DAH-la-har-ah). At the age of 16, he left the
Academia to perfor professionally in cantinas and cafes, helping his father sup-
port their family. In 1950, he moved to
Mexicali, the capial city of Baja Califor-
nia, Mexico. There he joined Mariachi
Chapala and soon became the group’s
arranger. The youngest member by at
least a decade, he stayed with the com-
pany for seven years. In 1957, he reset-
tled in Los Angeles, where he currently

One of Nati’s abiding aims has been to
counter the perception of mariachi musi-
cas mere “cantina music,” and to ahve
his beloved musical tradition be appreci-
ated as an art form o innate beauty and
artistry. He as accomplished this in many
ways. Under his leadership, Mariachi Los
Camperos, whch he founded in the early
1960s, became musically one of the best
mariachi ensembles in the world. In the Nati Cano and
laTE 1960S, he opened La Fonda de Los Camperos, a restaurant with a dinner- Mariachi Los Camperos
theatre concept that welcomed mariachi fans of all cultural and economic back- perform in 2004 An
grounds. La Fonda created a new model for mariachi performance venues that has
been imited throughout the Southwest. He as been a major supported, organizer,
and participant in the mariachi festival “movement” that started in 1979 and now
boasts several dozen festivals across the United States- many of them in California.

These events reach millions of audience members and aspiring young mariachi
musicians through festival workshops. His group accopanied Linda Ronstadt on her
breakthrough mariachi recordings and the concerts that followed, taking mariachi
music to tens of millions more listeners. His colorful Christmas production Fiesta
Navidad has toured Mexican music and dance traditions to dozens of major con-
cert halls throughout California and across the western United States. In addition
to performing, Nati Cano is an adjunct faculty member in UCLA’s Department of
Ethnomusicology where he passes on mariachi skills to university students.

His efforts have brought numerous honors and prestigious invitations. In 1990, the
National Endowment for the Arts honored him with its highest awar in the folk
and traditional arts, the National Heritage Fellowship. In September 2002, the City
of Los Angeles presented him with a similar recognition. In Mexico, he was aware-
ded the prestigous Sylvestre Vargas Award for artistic excellence. He has performed
at the White House for two presidents and at major venues outside California such
as the Avery Fischer Hall at New York’s Lincoln Center where he appreared with the
American Symphony, the National Folk Festival, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival,
the Kennedy Center, and at Guadalajara’s Teato Degollado (tay-ah-tro deh-goh-
lah-doh). he has been a repeated headliner at Mexico’s premier mariachi event, the
annual Encuentro de Mariachi in Guadalajara, which was featured in a nationally
aired PBS progrm.

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A close up of a mariachi trumpet (Courtesey of Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano)

History of Mariachi
The Wedding of Musical Traditions
Prior to the arrival of Cortes the music of Mexico, played with rattles, drums, reed
and clay flutes, and conch-shell horns, was an integral part of religious celebra-
tions. Quickly, however, as Christianity spread, in many areas these instruments Visit UMS Online
gave way to instruments imported by the Spanish: violins, guitars and harps, brass
horns, and woodwinds. The Indian and mestizo musicians not only learned to play
European instruments, but also to build their own, sometimes giving them shapes
and tunings of their own invention. tion

Music and dance were important elements of Spanish theatrical productions,
enormously popular throughout the Spanish speaking world during the colonial
period. The typical Spanish theatrical orchestra of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and
eighteenth centuries was comprised of violins (usually two), harp and guitars (or
guitar variants). It was from this group that several of the most distinctive regional
ensembles of Mexico developed, including the Mariachi.

Mariachi - What Does It Mean?
Musicologists and folklorists have argued for years over the origin of the word -

The explanation that appears most fre-
quently - especially on record jackets and in
travel brochures - is that it is a variation of
the French word mariage, meaning wedding
or marriage, and comes from the time in
the nineteenth century when Maximillian, a
Frenchman, was Emperor of Mexico. Accord-
ing to this myth the Mariachi was named
by the French after the celebration with
which it was most commonly associated. But
this explanation, always regarded as highly
doubtful by linguists, was totally discredited
recently when a use of the word was found
that predated the time when the French
arrived in Mexico.

Currently, however, the best scholarly opinion is that the word mariachi has native Members of
roots. One theory is that it comes from the name of the wood used to make the Mariachi Los
platform on which the performers danced to the music of the village musicians. Camperos at the
But whatever its true source - and the truth may never be discovered with abso- Viva El Mariachi
lute certainty - the word today has one meaning that is crystal clear: Mariachi
Competion in 2004
means on of the most exciting and enchanting musical ensembles found any-
where in the world.

The Unique Make-Up of the Mariachi Ensemble
In the complete Mariachi group today there are as many as six to eight violins, two
trumpets, and a guitar - all standard European instruments. Then there is a high-
itched, round-backed guitar called the vihuela, which when strummed in the tradi-
tional manner gives the Mariachi its typical rhythmic vitality; a deep-voiced guitar
called the guitarrón which serves as the bass of the ensemble; and a Mexican folk
harp, which usually doubles the base line, but also ornaments the melody.

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History of Mariachi
While these three instruments have European origins, in their present form they are
strictly Mexican.
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The sound that these instruments combine to make is unique. Like the sarape, which often used widely contrasting colors side by side - green and orange, yellow
and blue - the Mariachi used sharply contrasting sounds: the sweet sounds of the
violins against the brilliance of the trumpets, and the deep sound of the guitarró n
against the crisp, high voice of the vihuela; and the frequent shifting between syn-
copation and on-beat rhythm. The resulting sound is the heart and soul of Mexico.

The Beginning of the Mariachi We Know Today
Although the origins of Mariachi music go back hundreds of years, in the form
we know it the Mariachi began in the nineteenth century in the Mexican state of
Jalisco - according to popular legend, in the town of Cocula. The Mariachi was the
distinctive version of the Spanish theatrical orchestra of violins, harp and guitars
which developed in and around Jalisco. In other areas such as Veracruz and the
Huasteca region in the northeast, the ensemble evolved differently. By the end
of the nineteenth century, in Cocula the vihuela, two violins, and the guitarró n
(which had replaced the harp) were the instruments of the Mariachi.

The principal music played by these early Mariachis was the SON, the popular
music of the day. A mixture of folk traditions from Spain, Mexico, and Africa, the
son was found in many regions of the country. The son from Jalisco is called the
son jalisciense. La Negra is the best-known example.

Sones from other regions include the son jarocho or veracruzano, from the region
around the Gulf port of Veracruz; and the son huasteco, from northeastern
Mexico. The most famous example of the son jarocho is La Bamba. A typical son
huasteco, also known as the huapango, is La Malagueña. It is interesting to note
that there are some sones, such as El Gusto, which are common in all three regions
and clearly date back to a common ancestor.

Mariachi and Dance
It is important to remember the son-and other types
of Mariachi music- is not just music to be played and
sung. From the very start it was music to be danced.

The traditional dance technique associated with both
the son jalisciense and son jarocho is the zapateado, a
distinctive type of footwork that originated in Spain.
When dancing the zapateado the performers skillfully
drive the heels of their boots or shoes into the dance-
floor, pounding out swift, often syncopated rhythms
which complement the different rhythm of the musical
instruments. The zapateado can literally reduce even
the most resistant dance floor to splinters because of
Dancers at a the force with which it is danced.
Mariachi Festival in
Each of the regional variations of the son has its traditional style of dance. The
Guadalajara, Mexico
huapango or son huasteco, for instance, like the son jalisciense and son jarocho,
was originally danced on wooden platforms, in some areas mounted on earthen
jugs. To dance the huapango the couples line up in opposing columns. The upper
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part of the body is held perfectly erect as the feet perform rapid, intricate, shuf-
fling maneuvers. Today it is sometimes performed with a glass of water on the
head to show off the dancer’s incredible muscular control.
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The lyrics of the sones frequently describe country life: in particular, the plants,
animals and people of the region. These lyrics are highly suggestive, often using
imagery of the courtship of farm animals to describe the relations of men and
women. In the dance the movements of the performers often represent the farm- tion
yard courtship described in the verses of the sones.

Another kind of music related to the son and intimately connected with a particu-
lar dance is the jarabe. The jarabe, which has many regional variations, is really a
medley of dance pieces, including sones, danzas, jotas, and polkas. No discussion
of Mariachi dance would be complete without mentioning the famous Jarabe Tap-
atio - the Mexican Hat Dance. Associated with Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco,
it has become the national dance of Mexico. It is highly stylized, with prescribed
movements and costumes. The male wears the classic outfit the Jalisco horsemen
or charro, while the female the China, wears a hand-woven shawl and a bright
sequined skirt.

By the 1930’s Mariachi musicians had begun wearing the same traje de charro,
consisting of a waist-length jacket and tightly fitted wool pants which open
slightly at the ankle to fit over a short riding boot. Both pants and jacket are often
ornamented with embroidery, intricately cut leather designs, or silver buttons in a
variety of shapes. Prior to the 1930’s, photographs show early Mariachis dressed
in calzones de manta, and huaraches, homespun white cotton pants and shirts
and leather sandals, the clothes worn by most peasants in Jalisco.

Coming of Age: Mariachi Vargas
Although the roots of the Mariachi go back
hundreds of years, there are no Bachs or
Beethovens in its early history because Mariachi
music was the music of country people. Until
the 1930’s Mariachi groups were local and
semi-professional. They were almost entirely
unknown outside their own region.

This began to change about 60 years ago,
when the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán,
founded by Gaspar Vargas in 1898, went from
Jalisco to Mexico City. They were invited to
play at the inauguration in 1934 of populist
President Lá zaro Cá rdenas, one of whose
great interests was to foster the native culture Mariachi Pioneers:
of Mexico. Catching the Presidents enthusiasm, urban sophisticates took the folk Mariachi Vargas de
arts to their hearts, and the Mariachi Vargas instantly became the toast of the
town. The initial success was only the beginning. Silvestre Vargas, who had taken
over from his father as leader of the Mariachi Vargas in 1928, soon hired a trained
musician, Rubí n Fuentes, as musical director.

Fuentes, still actively involved with the Mariachi Vargas more than fifty years later,
is one of the towering figures in the development of the Mariachi. With the help
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History of Mariachi
of Silvestre Vargas, he standardized the arrangements of many of the traditional
sones composed many exceptional new huapangos, and wrote arrangements for
many of the legendary song writers and singers of his generation, including Pedro
Infante, Miguel Aceves Mejía, Lola Beltrán, and José Alfredo Jiménez. By the
1950’s he insisted that all his musicians read music. These innovations changed
the way Mariachi music moved from one group to another. Gone was the total
reliance of the musicians on their ears to pick up new songs, and techniques.

With this giant step toward professionalism coinciding with the development of
recordings, radio and film, the Mariachi Vargas was able
to become the ideal that all other groups would emulate.
With the addition of two trumpets, a classical guitar and
more violins, by the 1950’s the Mariachi ensemble had
become a complete, adaptable orchestra, with the ability
to retain its traditional base while it was assimilating new
musical ideas and styles. The importance of Mariachi
Vargas cannot be overestimated. Its arrangements have
become the definitive statements of what the Mariachi
should be.

The Mariachi at Special Occasions
Mariachis often help celebrate the great moments in
the lives of the Mexican people. With the serenata (ser-
enade), the Mariachi participates in the rite of courtship.
In a society where the young members of opposite sexes
were kept apart, the serenata was a means of communi-
cation by which a young man could send a message of
love to the woman of his heart. In many areas of Mexico,
it is not unusual to be awakened by the sound of Las
Mañ anitas, the traditional song for saints days, or birth-
days. The Mariachi is usually positioned strategically on
the street beneath the window of the festejada, but the
sound of its music echoes through the whole neighbor-
hood. Mariachis are also commonly hired for baptisms,
weddings, patriotic holidays, and even funerals. It is not
Mariachi is an unusual for the deceased to leave a list of favorite songs to be sung beside the
important part of grave at burial.
festivals and Mariachi music has been incorporated into the Roman Catholic Church’s most
holidays sacred ritual: the Mass. The Misa Panamericana is a Mariachi folk mass, sung in
Spanish, that uses traditional instruments to create vivid new interpretations of
the traditional elements of the service: Angelus, Kyrie eleison, Gloria, Alleluia,
Offertory, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei.

Source: History of The first Mariachi Mass was the concept of a Canadian priest, Father Juan Marco
the Mariachi from Leclerc, and has been celebrated in Cuernavaca since 1966. It originally took place
in a small chapel, but news of it spread so rapidly, and the crowds grew so large,
that the regular Sunday Mariachi Mass had be moved to the Cathedral of Cuer-
org/history.html navaca. It is now frequently performed throughout Mexico, and In many areas in
© Sylvia Gonzales the United States where people of Mexican origin live.

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Instruments of Mariachi
All of the insturments of the mariachi band work together to create a sound all
their own. For example, the sweet sound of the violins against the brilliance of
the trumpets, and deep sound of the guitarrón against the crisp, high voice of the
vihuela; and the frequent shifts between syncopation and on-beat rhythm. It is the
contrast of the instruments that gives the ensemble their unique sound.

The trumpet is made of brass tubing bent into a rough
spiral. Sound is produced by blowing air through
closed lips so as to produce a “buzzing” effect through
vibration, which creates a standing wave of vibrat-
ing air and metal in the trumpet. The trumpet player
can select the pitch from a range of overtones or har-
monics by changing the lip aperture tension. Valves
increase the length of the tubing and thus change the
overtones of the instrument. Three valves make the
trumpet fully chromatic, allowing the player to play in
all keys.In addition to mariachi, the trumpet is used in
nearly all forms of music, including classical, jazz, rock,
blues, pop, ska, polka and funk.


The violin is a bowed stringed musical instrument that has four strings
tuned a perfect fifth apart, the lowest being the G just below middle
C. It is the smallest and highest-tuned member of the violin family of
string instruments, which also includes the viola and cello.

The heartbeat of the modern Mariachi group is the
guitarrón (gwee-tahr-ROHN).The guitarron provides
the bass and the rhythmic foundation that was for-
merly the province of the less-than-portable harp.
The strings are plucked strongly, two strings an
octave apart at a time. Although obviously similar
to the guitar, it is not a derivative of that instru-
ment, but was independently developed from the
sixteenth-century Spanish bajo de uña. The guitar-
rón is fretless, the strings are heavy gauge, so that
quite a bit of left hand strength is required.

17 |
Instruments of Mariachi

A guitar is a stringed musical instrumen that
can be acoustic, electric (i.e. with electrical
amplification) or both. The kind of guitar played
in Mariachi ensembles is the classical or Spanish
guitar. For right-handed players, the right hand
plucks the strings with either the fingers or a
guitar pick. The sound is produced by vibrating
strings, which in turn resonate the body and
neck.The body of the guitar acts mostly as a
resonator, which can be hollow in acoustic gui-
tars or solid in most electric guitars, and a neck.
Typically, a headstock extends from the neck
for tuning. Guitars are widely known as a solo
classical instrument, and the primary instrument
in blues and rock music.


The vihuela (vee-WHAY-lah) is a creation of the Coca
Indians of Southwestern Jalisco in Mexico. of strings
tuned to A-D-G-B-E. This instrument gives the mariachi
ensemble its unique sound as no other genre of music
uses the vihuela. In addition to sound, the vihuela also
provides rhythm and sound accompaniment for the

Source: http://

18 |
Mariachi Song Forms Title
The music of the mariachi band is a mixture of different indigenous, as well as
European and African, elements. From Europe, it borrowed many of the dance
forms such as the waltz and the fandango. From Africa, it borrowed dance
rhythms and melodic ideas. The forms found in mariachi music are, without a
doubt, the most important element of the style. Mariachi song forms (such as the
bolero, canción ranchera, son, huapango, joropo, and danzón) are always dictated
by the rhythmic patterns that are performed by the guitar section of the group.
This is one of the few musical genres in which text does not indicate form.

The mariachi band is Mexico’s only true surviving folkloric ensemble. The group
itself has changed very little since the addition of the trumpets in the middle of
the 1930s. The songs that the group performs have changed, but only to meet
the demands of the listening public. A good mariachi band has a minimum
repertory of at least one thousand songs. Top-flight groups have song lists that
are two or three times as long. On top of that, a strong mariachi musician must
know three or four arrangements of each of these songs. Mariachi performers are
expected to know the music that is on the mind of the entire Mexican population.

The Importance of the
The mariachi sound thus came
to include the style known as the
“son”, which also reflected an
African influence. The rhythmic
pattern is a syncopated styling
alternating between 3/4 and 6/8
time. One common type of son,
the “son jalisciense”, was very
popular in the Jalisco region. The
popular Mariachi piece, La Negra,
is one such example.

Almost simultaneously in other
regions of Mexico, other varia-
tions of the son rhythm devel-
Singer Ritchie Valens made the song oped. In Veracruz, located on the
“La Bamba” a mainstream hit Gulf coast of Mexico, the “son
jarocho” or “son veracruzano”
developed. This style often utilizes the harp accompaniment instead of the guitar-
rón as the primary bass instrument. A commonly known song in the son jarocho
style is La Bamba.

In southeastern Mexico, the “son huasteco” or “huapango” evolved and often
included a flute as part of the standard ensemble. This style is reflected in songs
such as La Malagueña and Serenata Huasteca. Eventually, many other popular
songs were developed that used combinations of these basic rhythms.

In addition to the son style, the Spanish influence added waltzes, polkas, and
other styles to the Mariachi repertoire.

19 |
Voice in the Mariachi Ensemble
There is not a lead singer in Mariachi. Everyone in the ensemble does some vocal-
ization even if it is just during the chorus parts. Different members sing the lead
in different songs. It is common practice to try to match the
voice with the type of song that is being performed so that
the emotion of the piece is conveyed in the most artistic way

The unamplified voices of Mariachi vocalists can have many
different styles. The bolero is a romantic style with a soft
touch and a suave voice, the huapango, which employs a lot
of falsetto, mixing between registers, and flipping between
the head and chest registers, similar to Hawaiian folk singers.
The son jalisiense involves an aggressive style of vocalization.
It usually does not involve the use of falsetto, but employs
a variety of rhythms. Because Mariachis do not typically
employed amplification for the vocal or instrumental music,
the voices need to be powerful to be heard over the accom-

Most Mariachi vocalists do not have any formal music train-
A mariachi singer performs ing or vocal instruction. Mariachi is folk music that was per-
formed by country people and was not practiced by the elite
who could afford to be trained. Therefore, the traditional
sound of the Mariachi voice is rustic, viejo (old) and even sometimes borracho
(drunk) sounding. There are some Mariachi vocalists who believe to receive train-
ing means that one is not puro or loosely translated, authentic. They feel that it is
enough that the music is coming from the heart, and to train the voice would take
away from that.

The current trend for Mariachi singers today is to receive formal training. The pro-
fessional sound is developing with the influence and finely tuned voices of groups
like Mariachi Cobre. In order to “keep up,” other groups must receive both instru-
mental and vocal training to comply with the new standard. There was a time,
around the 1950’s when there were trained Mariachi singers. This group included
Pepe Villa, Jorge Negrete, and Pedro Infante. The trend is going back to having a
well trained instrument. Mariachi singers of today are realizing that there is noth-
ing wrong with being a good vocalist.

Vocal difficutlies can arise when young singers try to imitate mariachi stars. With-
out proper training, an immature voice can suffer damage from singing loudly and
being overtaxed.

20 |
A nap of Mexico (

Quick Facts: Mexico
Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between
Belize and the US and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala
and the US

Total: 756,061 sq miles (slightly less than three times the size of Texas )

Land Boundries
Border countries: Belize 155 mi, Guatemala 598 mi, US 1,952 mi

5,797 mi

Subtropical to arid; hot and dry February to June; rainy,
humid, and mild June to November; cool and dry Novem-
ber to February

Varies from tropical to desert

Natural Resources
Petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas,

Land Use
Arable land: 12.99%
Permanent crops: 1.31%
Other: 85.7% (2001)

Natural Hazards
Tsunamis along the Pacific coast, volcanoes and destruc-
The Sonora Desert, tive earthquakes in the center and south, and hurricanes on the Pacific, Gulf of
Northern Mexico Mexico, and Caribbean coasts

Current Environmental Issues
Scarcity of hazardous waste disposal facilities; rural to urban migration; natural
fresh water resources scarce and polluted in north, inaccessible and poor quality in
center and extreme southeast; raw sewage and industrial effluents polluting rivers
in urban areas; deforestation; widespread erosion; desertification; deteriorating
agricultural lands; serious air and water pollution in the national capital and urban
centers along US-Mexico border; land subsidence in Valley of Mexico caused by
groundwater depletion

Geography Note
Strategic location on southern border of US; corn (maize), one of the world’s
major grain crops, is thought to have originated in Mexico

22 |
Quick Facts: Mexico
106,202,903 (July 2005 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 31.1% (male 16,844,400/female 16,159,511)
15-64 years: 63.3% (male 32,521,043/female 34,704,093)
65 years and over: 5.6% (male 2,715,010/female 3,258,846) (2005 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth
Total population: 75.19 years
Male: 72.42 years
Female: 78.1 years (2005 est.)

HIV/AIDS- Adult Prevelance Rate
0.3% (2003 est.)

Noun: Mexican(s)
Adjective: Mexican

Ethnic Groups
Mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%,
Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian
30%, white 9%, other 1%

Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 6%,
other 5%

Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and
other regional indigenous languages

Government Type
Federal republic Buildings in Mexico
City are decorated
Capital for Independance
Mexico (Distrito Federal) Day, September 16

National Holiday
Independence Day, 16 September (1810). The day marks the beginning of Mexico’s
struggle for independance from Spain.

Flag Description
Three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; the coat of arms
(an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake in its beak) is centered in the white

23 |
Economy Overview
Mexico has a free market economy that recently entered the trillion dollar class. It
contains a mixture of modern and outmoded industry and agriculture, increasingly
dominated by the private sector. Recent administrations have expanded competi-
tion in seaports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity generation, natural gas
distribution, and airports. Per capita income is one-fourth that of the US; income
distribution remains highly unequal. Trade with the US and Canada has tripled
since the implementation of NAFTA in 1994. Mexico has 12 free trade agree-
ments with over 40 countries including, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, the
European Free Trade Area, and Japan, putting more than 90% of trade under free
trade agreements. The current president Vicente Fox’s administration is cognizant
of the need to upgrade infrastructure, modernize the tax system and labor laws,
and allow private investment in the energy sector, but has been unable to win the
support of the opposition-led Congress. The next government that takes office in
December 2006 will confront the same challenges of boosting economic growth,
improving Mexico’s international competitiveness, and reducing poverty.

Agriculture Products
Corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, beans, cotton, coffee, fruit, tomatoes;
beef, poultry, dairy products; wood products

Food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum,
mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, tourism

Mexican peso (MXN)
In 2005, 1 US Dollar (USD) = 10.97 Mexican peso (MXN)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 18%, industry 24%, services 58% (2003)

Unemployment rate
3.6% plus underemployment of perhaps 25% (2005 est.)

A young child on a Population below poverty line
Mexican farm 40% (2003 est.)

International Issues
Prolonged drought, population growth, and outmoded practices and infrastruc-
ture in the border region have strained water-sharing arrangements with the US;
the US has stepped up efforts to stem nationals from Mexico, Central America,
and other parts of the world from illegally crossing the border with Mexico

Source: The CIA World Fact Book

24 |
Mexico Yesterday and Today
At least three great civilizations—the Mayas, the Olmecs, and later the Toltecs—
preceded the wealthy Aztec Empire, conquered in 1519–1521 by the Spanish
under Hernando Cortés. Spain ruled Mexico as part of the viceroyalty of New
Spain for the next 300 years until Sept. 16, 1810, when the Mexicans first For more indepth
revolted. They won independence in 1821. information on
Mexican history, go
From 1821 to 1877, there were two emperors, several dictators, and enough to:
presidents and provisional executives to make a new government on the average
of every nine months. Mexico lost Texas (1836), and after defeat in the war with http://www.
the U.S. (1846–1848), it lost the area that is now California, Nevada, and Utah,
most of Arizona and New Mexico, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado under
the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In 1855, the Indian patriot Benito Juárez began
a series of reforms, including the disestablishment of the Catholic Church, which
owned vast property. The subsequent civil war was interrupted by the French
invasion of Mexico (1861) and the crowning of Maximilian of Austria as emperor
(1864). He was overthrown and executed
by forces under Juárez, who again became
president in 1867.

The years after the fall of the dictator Porfirio
Diaz (1877–1880 and 1884–1911) were
marked by bloody political-military strife and
trouble with the U.S., culminating in the
punitive U.S. expedition into northern Mexico
(1916–1917) in unsuccessful pursuit of the
revolutionary Pancho Villa. Since a brief civil
war in 1920, Mexico has enjoyed a period
of gradual agricultural, political, and social
reforms. The Partido Nacional Revolucionario
(PNR; National Revolutionary Party), dominated
by revolutionary and reformist politicians from
northern Mexico, was established in 1929; it
continued to control Mexico throughout the
20th century and was renamed the Partido
Revolucionario Institucional (PRI; Institutional
Revolutionary Party) in 1946. Relations with
the U.S. were disturbed in 1938 when all
foreign oil wells were expropriated, but a
compensation agreement was reached in

Following World War II, the government
emphasized economic growth. During the mid-1970s, under the leadership of
Mexican president
President José López Portillo, Mexico became a major petroleum producer. By
the end of Portillo’s term, however, Mexico had accumulated a huge external and national hero,
debt because of the government’s unrestrained borrowing on the strength of Benito Juárez
its petroleum revenues. The collapse of oil prices in 1986 cut Mexico’s export
earnings. In Jan. 1994, Mexico joined Canada and the United States in the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which will phase out all tariffs over a
15-year period, and in Jan. 1996, it became a founding member of the World
Trade Organization (WTO).

25 |
In 1995, the U.S. agreed to prevent the collapse of Mexico’s private banks. In
return, the U.S. won virtual veto power over much of Mexico’s economic policy.
In 1997, in what observers called the freest elections in Mexico’s history, the PRI
lost control of the lower legislative house and the mayoralty of Mexico City in a
stunning upset. To increase democracy, President Ernesto Zedillo said in 1999 that
he would break precedent and not personally choose the next PRI presidential
nominee. Several months later, Mexico held its first presidential primary, which
was won by former interior secretary Francisco Labastida, Zedillo’s closest ally
among the candidates.

In elections held on July 2, 2000, the PRI lost the presidency, ending 71 years of
one-party rule. Vicente Fox Quesada, of the conservative National Action Party
(PAN), took 43% of the vote to Labastida’s 36%. Fox vowed tax reform, an
overhaul of the legal system, and a reduction in power of the central government.
By 2002, however, Fox had made little headway on his ambitious reform agenda.
Disfavor with Fox was evident in 2003 parliamentary elections, when the PRI
rebounded, winning 224 of the 500 seats in the lower house. After the elections,
Fox admitted publicly that many Mexicans were disappointed with his government
thus far.

In 2004, a two-year investigation into the “dirty war,” which Mexico’s
authoritarian government waged against its opponents in the 1960s and 1970s,
led to an indictment—later dropped—against former president Luis Echeverria for
ordering the 1971 shooting of student protesters.

An attempt to bring criminal charges against Andrés Manuel López Obrador,
the enormously popular leftist mayor of Mexico City, were dropped in May 2005
after a huge public rally in favor of the mayor took place. López Obrador was
accused of a technical offense, breaching a court order involving the construction
of an access road in the city, which could have blocked his intended run for the
presidency in 2006. Many believe that the charges were politically motivated,
so that López Obrador could not run against the deeply unpopular incumbent,
Vicente Fox.

Current Mexican
president, Vicente Fox

26 |
Student busily working during a UMS in-school visit.

Lesson Plans
Curriculum Connections
Are you interested Introduction
in more lesson
plans? The following lessons and activities offer suggestions intended to be used in
preparation for the UMS Youth Performance. These lessons are meant to be both
Visit the Kennedy fun and educational, and should be used to create anticipation for the performance.
Center’s ArtsEdge Use them as a guide to further exploration of the art form. Teachers may pick and
web site, the choose from the cross-disciplinary activities and can coordinate with other subject
nation’s most area teachers. You may wish to use several activities, a single plan, or pursue a
comprehensive single activity in greater depth, depending on your subject area, the skill level or
source of arts- maturity of your students and the intended learner outcomes.
based lesson
Our Lesson Plans Are Now Online!
www.artsedge. Lesson plans were created to help enrich your study of the José Limón Dance
kennedy-center. Company and make it come alive for your students. We hope that this new online
org format will make it easier for teachers to adapt the lesson plans for their own class-
rooms. The plans can bee accessed at

Lessons plans available for download are:

1. Time, Space and Energy (Grades 3-12)

2. Seeing Music, Hearing Dance (Grades 3-12)

3. Sculptures (Grades 3-12)

4. Connections (Grades 3-12)

5. Directed Improvisation (Grades 3-12)

6. Appreciating the Performance (Grades 3-12)

Learner Outcomes

• Each student will develop a feeling of self-worth, pride in work, respect,
appreciation and understanding of other people and cultures, and a desire
for learning now and in the future in a multicultural, gender-fair, and ability-
sensitive environment.

• Each student will develop appropriately to that individual’s potential, skill
in reading, writing, mathematics, speaking, listening, problem solving, and
examining and utilizing information using multicultural, gender-fair and
ability-sensitive materials.

• Each student will become literate through the acquisition and use of
knowledge appropriate to that individual’s potential,
through a comprehensive, coordinated curriculum, including
computer literacy in a multicultural, gender-fair, and ability-sensitive
28 |
Meeting Michigan StandardsTitle
Standard 1: Performing All students will apply skills and knowledge to perform in the arts.
Standard 2: Creating All students will apply skills and knowledge to create in the arts. UMS can help you
Standard 3: Analyzing in Context All students will analyze, describe, and evaluate works of art. meet Michigan’s
Standard 4: Arts in Context All students will understand, analyze and describe the arts in their
historical, social, and cultural contexts. Curricular
Standard 5: Connecting to other Arts, other Disciplines, and Life All students will recognize, Standards!
analyze and describe connections among the arts; between the arts and other disciplines;
between the arts and everyday life.
The activities in this
study guide,
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS combined with the
Standard 3: Meaning and Communication All students will focus on meaning and communica-
live performance, are
tion as they listen, speak, view, read, and write in personal, social, occupational, and civic
aligned with Michigan
Standard 6: Voice All students will learn to communicate information accurately and effectively Standards and
and demonstrate their expressive abilities by creating oral, written and visual texts that Benchmarks.
enlighten and engage an audience.
For a complete list of
Standards and
SOCIAL STUDIES Benchmarks, visit the
Standard I-1: Time and Chronology All students will sequence chronologically eras of American
Michigan Department
history and key events within these eras in order to examine relationships and to explain
cause and effect.
of Education online:
Standard I-3: Analyzing and Interpreting the Past All students will reconstruct the past by
comparing interpretations written by others from a variety of perspectives and creating
narratives from evidence. mde
Standard II-1: People, Places, and Cultures All students will describe, compare and explain the
locations and characteristics of places, cultures and settlements.
Standard VII-1: Responsible Personal Conduct All students will consider the effects of an
individual’s actions on other people, how one acts in accordance with the rule of law and
how one acts in a virtuous and ethically responsible way as a member of society.

Standard I-1: Patterns Students recognize similarities and generalize patterns, use patterns to
create models and make predictions, describe the nature of patterns and relationships and
construct representations of mathematical relationships.
Standard I-2: Variability and Change Students describe the relationships among variables, predict
what will happen to one variable as another variable is changed, analyze natural variation
and sources of variability and compare patterns of change.
Standard III-3: Inference and Prediction Students draw defensible inferences about unknown
outcomes, make predictions and identify the degree of confidence they have in their pre-

Standard I-1: Constructing New Scientific Knowledge All students will ask questions that help
them learn about the world; design and conduct investigations using appropriate
methodology and technology; learn from books and other sources of information; com-
municate their findings using appropriate technology; and reconstruct previously learned
Standard IV-4: Waves and Vibrations All students will describe sounds and sound waves; explain
shadows, color, and other light phenomena; measure and describe vibrations and waves;
and explain how waves and vibrations transfer energy.

29 |
plan is aligned to Standard 1: Applied Academic Skills All students will apply basic communication skills, apply
scientific and social studies concepts, perform mathematical processes and apply
specific State of
technology in work-related situations.
Michigan Standard 2: Career Planning All students will acquire, organize, interpret and evaluate informa-
Standards. tion from career awareness and exploration activities, career assessment and work-based
experiences to identify and to pursue their career goals.
Standard 3: Developing and Presenting Information All students will demonstrate the ability to
combine ideas or information in new ways, make connections between seemingly unrelated
ideas and organize and present information in formats such as symbols, pictures, schemat
ics, charts, and graphs.
Standard 4: Problem Solving All students will make decisions and solve problems by specifying
goals, identifying resources and constraints, generating alternatives, considering impacts,
choosing appropriate alternatives, implementing plans of action and evaluating results.
Standard 5: Personal Management All students will display personal qualities such as
responsibility, self-management, self-confidence, ethical behavior and respect for self and
Standard 7: Teamwork All students will work cooperatively with people of diverse backgrounds
and abilities, identify with the group’s goals and values, learn to exercise leadership, teach
others new skills, serve clients or customers and contribute to a group process with ideas,
suggestions and efforts.

Standard 2: Using Information Technologies All students will use technologies to input, retrieve,
organize, manipulate, evaluate and communicate information.
Standard 3: Applying Appropriate Technologies All students will apply appropriate technologies
to critical thinking, creative expression and decision-making skills.

Standard 2: Using Strategies All students will use a varietry of strategies to communicate in a non-
English language.
Standard 8: Global Community All students will define and characterize the global community.
Standard 9: Diversity All students will identify diverse languages and cultures throughout the

30 |
Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano (Photo by Rosalie O’Connor)

Dear Parents and Guardians,
We will be taking a field trip to see a University Musical Society (UMS) Youth Performance of the Mariachi
Los Camperos de Nati Cano on Friday, February 10, from 12noon-1pm at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.

We will travel (please circle one) • by car • by school bus • by private bus • by foot
Leaving school at approximately ________am and returning at approximately ________pm.

The UMS Youth Performance Series brings the world’s finest performers in music, dance, theater, opera,
and world cultures to Ann Arbor. This performance features the Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano.

We (circle one) • need • do not need
additional chaperones for this event. (See below to sign up as a chaperone.)

Please (circle one) • send • do not send
lunch along with your child on this day.

If your child requires medication to be taken while we are on the trip, please contact us to make

If you would like more information about this Youth Performance, please visit the Education section of Copies of the Teacher Resource Guide for this performance are available for
you to download.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me at ____________________________________
or send email to _________________________________________________________________________.
Please return this form to the teacher no later than _____________________________________________


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

My son/daughter, __________________________________, has permission to attend the UMS Youth
Performance on Friday, February 10, 2006. I understand that transportation will be by _____________.
I am interested in chaperoning if needed (circle one). • YES • NO

Parent/Guardian Signature________________________________________ Date_____________________

Relationship to student ____________________________________________

Daytime phone number__________________________________________

Emergency contact person________________________________________

Emergency contact phone number_________________________________
Some of the textual information as well as some of the graphics included in this
guide were derived from the following sources:

There are more
Bibliography study guides
like this one, on
Puro Mariachi
a variety of
topics online!
Mexican Mariachi Music and Instruments Just visit...
Introduction to Mariachi Music education

Mariachi History

Mariachi Publishing Company

History of Mexico

The World Factbook -- Mexico

Puro Mariachi (Indigo Records, 1961)

North of the Border (RCA/Carino Records, 1965)

El Super Mariachi, Los Camperos (Latin International, 1968)

Valses de Amor (La Fonda Records, 1973)

Canciones de Siempre (PolyGram Latino, 1993)

Sounds of Mariachi (Delfin Records, 1996)

Fiesta Navidad (Delfin Records, 1997)

Viva el Mariachi (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2003)

¡Llegaron Los Camperos! (Smithsonian Foldways Recordings, 2005)
Internet Resources
Arts Resources
The official website of UMS. Visit the Education section (
for study guides, information about community and family events and more infor-
mation about the UMS Youth Education Program.
The nation’s most comprehensive web site for arts education, including lesson
plans, arts education news, grant information, etc.

Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano - A
biography of Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano
- Samples of muscial tracks from their Grammy nominated album ¡Llegaron Los
Camperos!: Nati Cano’s Mariachi Los Camperos

Mexico - A comprehensive country study by
the Library of Congress, including Mexican history, economics, government, and
politics. - Latin American Network Information
Center based at the Univerisity of Texas-Austin facilitates access to Internet-based
information to, from, or on Latin America. - a guide to Mexican
holidays and festivals

Mariachi a calendar of western US concerts and events, directory of
groups, and links to history and review sites. - a guide to mariachi and other Mexi-
can folk music. The site also contains information of traditional Mexican folkloric
dance and art. - a resource for links to
mariachi and mariachi education sites.

Although UMS previewed each web site, we recommend that teachers check all web sites
before introducing them to students, as content may have changed since this guide was
Recommended Reading
There are
Alarcon, Francisco X. Angels Ride Bikes: And Other Fall Poems (Children’s Book
Press; Bilingual edition, 1999). many more
books available
Alarcon, Francisco X. From the Bellybutton of the Moon and Other Summer about mariachi and
Poems (Children’s Book Press; Bilingual edition, 1998). Mexico

Alarcon, Francisco X. Iguanas in the Snow: and Other Winter Poems (Children’s Just visit
Book Press; Bilingual edition, 2001).

Alarcon, Francisco X. Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems (Children’s
Book Press; Bilingual edition, 1997).

Freedman, Russell. Stories of Mexico’s Independence Days and Other Bilingual
Children’s Fables, (University of New Mexico Press, 2005).

Galindo, Mary Sue. Icy Watermelon/ Sandía Fría (Arte Publico Press; Bilingual
edition, 2001).

Mathews, Sally Schofer. The Sad Night: The Story of an Aztec Victory and a
Spanish Loss (Clarion Books, 2001).

Nye, Naomi Shihab. The Tree Is Older Than You Are: A Bilingual Gathering of
Poems & Stories from Mexico, (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing,

Ober, Hal & Carol Ober. How Music Came to the World : An Ancient Mexican
Myth (Houghton Mifflin, 1994).

Wilson Sanger, Amy. Hola Jalapeno (World Snacks), (Tricycle Press, 2002).

Winner, Ramona Moreno. Lucas and His Loco Beans: A Tale of the Mexican
Jumping Bean, (Brainstorm Three Thousand, 2002).


Bierhorst, John. The Mythology of Mexico and Central America (HarperCollins
Publishers, 1990).

Joseph, G. M., Timothy J. Henderson, Gilbert M. Joseph, eds. The Mexico Reader:
History, Culture, Politics (The Latin America Readers) (Duke University Press,

Melazzini, Santiago. Mariachi: A Flip Book, (La Marca Editora, 2006).

Shane, C. J., ed. The Mexicans (Coming to America) (Greenhaven Press, 2004).

Sheehy, Daniel. Mariachi Music in America : Experiencing Music, Expressing
Culture (Global Music Series) (Oxford University Press, USA, 2005).
Community Resources
University Musical Society
University of Michigan
Burton Memorial Tower
881 N. University Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1101

Mariachi Especial Alma de Mexico
David Hernandez
9210 Mason Place
Detroit, MI 48209

Casa de Unidad
1920 Scotten
Detroit, Ml 48209

Latinos Unidos, Inc
Cecilia Fileti
P.O. Box 131527
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48113

LA SED (Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development)
4138 W.Vernor
Detroit, Ml 48209

University of Michigan Latin American and Caribbean Studies
2607 Social Work/ International Institute Bldg.
1080 South University St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106

Wayne State University’s Center for Chicano-Boricua Studies
3324 Faculty Administration Building
656 W. Kirby
Detroit, MI 48202
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Using the Resource Disk Title

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Evening Performance Info
To purchase UMS
Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano
tickets: Natividad “Nati” Cano, artistic director
Friday, February 10, 8 pm
Online Power Center
Mariachi goes beyond music: it is a musical celebration of life expressed through
a group of musicians in traditional clothing, encompassing the essence of Mexico
By Phone and its people. The eleven-member Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano takes this
musical folk tradition from the streets into the concert hall, where it can be right-
fully appreciated as an art form of innate beauty and artistry.

A traditionalist and a visionary, Natividad “Nati” Cano has both mirrored and
shaped the history of mariachi music, blending traditional rhythms with the more
complex harmonies of American and Mexican popular music. Growing up in rural
Mexico, he moved to Guadalajara and then Los Angeles, where he founded Los
Camperos, the major driving force of the mariachi tradition and the group that is
chiefly responsible for its surge in popularity in North America.

To hear their richly operatic voices interwoven with the lush melodies of violins, the
complex rhythms of guitar, vihuela (mariachi rhythm guitar) and harp, and the vivid
brilliance of trumpets, is to experience mariachi at its best — a triumphant balance
of contrasts that is distinctly Mexican yet universal in its appeal.

Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

TEEN Ticket
In response to the needs of our teen audience members, the University Musical
Society has implemented the TEEN Ticket. All teens can attend UMS events at
a significant discount. Tickets are available for $10 the day of the performance
at the Michigan League Ticket Office, or for 50% off the published price at the
venue 90 minutes before the performance begins. One ticket per student ID.
Send Us Your Feedback!
UMS wants to know what teachers and students think about this Youth Performance.
We hope you’ll send us your thoughts, drawings, letters or reviews.

UMS Youth Education Program
Burton Memorial Tower • 881 N. University Ave. • Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1011
734.615.0122 phone • 734.998.7526 fax •