A celebration of beautiful music and rich culture, the Festival de Mariachi! En la Isla is returning to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) this weekend! This will be the third year the festival has taken place, and it will be held Thursday, Apr. 13, through Sunday, Apr. 16 at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) at TAMU-CC.
The festival is host to many performances by regional high school ensembles from around the area, as well as the university’s own Mariachi de la Isla. This year, the Festival contains educational components meant to teach the community more about the rich history and culture of Mariachi.
The event will also be host to workshops, a movie screening and a service at the Corpus Christi Cathedral with Mariachi Catedral and Mariachi en la Isla. There will also be opportunities to browse items from vendors, enjoy face painting and arts and crafts, watch or participate in a Grito contest and eat from a selection of food trucks.
The festival was founded by Professor Amanda Marquez, Director of the PAC Jim Moore, Associate Professor of Music Rai Morales, Dr. Kenneth Iyescas, and Assistant Professor of English and Hispanic Heritage Month Coordinator Andrea Montalvo-Hamid.
TAMU-CC’s modern take on Mariachi was brought about when Jim Moore, Amanda Marquez and Rai Morales were inspired to bring the mariachi experience to Corpus Christi. After traveling to Guadalajara and attending the largest mariachi gathering in the world, the Encuentro Internacional del Mariachi y la Charrería, the group of faculty, with peers Andrea Mantalvo–Hamid and Kenneth Lyescas, set out to bring a version of the celebration to the Coastal Bend.
The four-day event starts today, Apr. 13, at 7 p.m. with a free screening of the film “Canciones de mi Padre, Linda Ronstadt’s PBS Great Performances concert from 1989.” Friday, Apr. 14 will continue the festivities with a workshop open to school students only, followed by “Mariachi las Alteñas” at 7:30 p.m.
The weekend festivities will start Saturday morning, Apr. 15, with a string of middle and high school ensemble performances from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. followed by food trucks and a vendors market where you can shop local artisans and crafters. Saturday evening, enjoy the sounds of “Mariachi de Azteca America.” The programming will end Sunday, Apr. 16, with an 11 a.m. Mariachi service at Corpus Christi CathedralGeneral admission tickets are $5 during the day on Saturday, and $10 for the evening concerts on Friday and Saturday. Children age 5 and under get in free. For more information visit Festival de Mariachi! website. Tickets are available to purchase online.