Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mariachi Vargas to perform in Rosarito festival

Mariachi Vargas to perform in Rosarito festival
By Sandra Dibble Sept. 29, 2013

Jose "Pepe" Martinez (center) and the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. - Christopher Barnes

ROSARITO BEACH - The Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán has come to Baja California, but never before to Rosarito Beach.

On Saturday, members of the famed ensemble from the state of Jalisco are slated to perform as part of Rosarito's Fourth International Mariachi & Folklorico Festival, which features musicians and dancers from both sides of the border. They will be joined by the Mariachi Divas, a Grammy-winning female mariachi group from Hacienda Heights. Also performing are members of the group Mariachia Aguila de Tijuana.

Held at the Rosarito Beach Hotel, the festival is organized by Gil Sperry, a retired Chula Vista schoolteacher and author of books on mariachi music, together with Rosy Torres, president of the Boys & Girls Club of Rosarito. The festival is a fundraiser for the club, which offers a wide range of after-school activities for children and teens, and provides support for many low-income and at-risk youth.

The festival includes workshops for aspiring mariachi performers ages 10 and older. Groups from the United States and Mexico will be competing for shares of $10,000 in prize money. Torres said that festival participants are coming from as far away as far as Canada, Texas and Arizona, as well as different parts of California. Besides the workshops and performances, the festival a fundraising cocktail hour on Thursday with members of the Mariachi Vargas and Mariachi Divas.

Last year's festival drew some 5,000 people, and organizers are hoping that the participation of the Mariachi Vargas will bring even larger crowds.

Seating for the Saturday concert starts at 6 p.m.. Ticket prices range from $75 for VIP seating, to $40 for the diamond section and for $20 for general admission. A full schedule of events and ticket prices is available online at this link.

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