Mariachi Aztlan De Pueblo Psyches-Up For Conference

By Jacquelyn Gutierrez

Pueblo High School’s 17 members of Mariachi Aztlán will be participating in this year’s Tucson International Mariachi Conference (TIMC) later this month and hopefully bringing home an impressive fifth consecutive first place.

The TIMC is a prestigious event that includes participants from mariachi groups all over the country, including world renowned Mariachi Vargas, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, and this year, Mariachi Sol De Mexico is coming to Tucson from Los Angeles.

Closer to home, Pueblo Mariachi Aztlán member Carmen Membrila, a sophomore, said, “We’re very hopeful in winning for the fifth time this year. We have a very good set list, so the whole Mariachi group and I are very excited.”

This Conference is held at Casino Del Sol for three days—from April 25 through April 28. The Mariachi’s vary in ages—from as young as elementary-aged students to high school.

Pueblo mariachi teacher Mr. John Contreras said, “We’ve been working long hours during and after school. This [conference] is our main focus right now, so I wish us the best of luck.”

Practicing for a couple months now, Mariachi Aztlán has been preparing to keep up the number one record. For the five seniors in this year’s program, they are hoping for another victorious placing.

“Unfortunately this will be one of my last conferences,” said senior Liam Membrila, “but we have been working hard and playing the songs over and over, so I’m confident about how we do at this year’s conference.”

Mariachi Club president Destiny Olea, a senior who has been in the club since her sophomore year, said, “Between now and the conference, our group needs to perfect our set list enough for us to compete—as well as to remember to have fun and not stress.”

“Regardless of the new members this year, our mariachi group is just as dedicated as ever,” Olea said. “Our passion and our originality are definitely assets to our program.”

She added that the group does more than just play mariachi music. Earlier this year, Pueblo’s mariachi group raised approximately $5,000 for school children victimized by Hurricane Harvey in the Houston, Texas area by performing with other local mariachi groups.

Mariachi Aztlán Travels, Performs In Palm Springs With Pink Martini

America Cardenas Pueblo El Guerrero

By América Cárdenas

On January 31, 2016, eighteen students from Pueblo’s Mariachi Aztlán mariachi group, including several chaperones and teacher Mr. John Contreras, ventured to Palm Springs, CA, as an opening act for the group, Pink Martini, a pop jazz and Latin/lounge musical group from Portland, OR, that is traveling around the country.

mariachi-aztlan-pueblo-with-pink-martini
Mariachi Aztlan De Pueblo with Pink Martini

The three-day trip began on Sunday, January 31, at 6:00 a.m., driving straight through to Palm Springs, a five-hour trip from Tucson. Most students slept on the bus, but perked up once they arrived at the hotel.

One member of the Mariachi Aztlán, senior Daniel Motley, said, “Once we got to the motel, we all woke up quickly. My favorite part of the trip was being able to share the stage with Pink Martini and learning a few of their songs.”

Mariachi Aztlán performed four times during this trip, and each performance was slightly different because the group played in different areas.

Rafael Miranda, another senior, said “In order to prepare for the Pink Martini Performances, I practiced throughout the entire year. I also listen to their recordings over and over.”

Senior Jaret Young said, “A member of Pink Martini who really influenced me was Miguel Bernal. He was very open and humble. He told me about his life in Cuba and how he told his family about me and the mariachi. He also offered me free Conga lessons. Another influential member of the group was Phil Baker. He wrote down music for me and offered me free bass lessons in Oregon.”

Mariachi teacher Mr. John Contreras said he was contacted by Pink Martini’s management over the winter break. They said that Pueblo’s mariachi group had been recommended as one of the student groups that excelled in Tucson by the manager of the Rialto Theatre, Curtis McCrary, who had dealt with Pueblo’s mariachi group in various capacities over the part of the 10-15 years.

“One of the members of Pink Martini found some YouTube footage of Mariachi Aztlán, and they liked what they saw,” Contreras said. “They invited us to perform a couple of their songs with them and possibly open the show for them, and that was the way we were put in contact with them.”

Several members of Mariachi Aztlán were interviewed by local news reporters in Palm Springs, who happened to attend the performances.

Senior Yajaira Othon said, “All of the experiences this weekend truly were magnificent! Pink Martini’s band members and their audience were extremely supportive and very nice. This three-day weekend ranks in one of my favorite moments in my high school years.”

Mariachi Aztlan Performs At Arizona State Capitol

This past Monday, March 4 Pueblo’s Mariachi Aztlan performed at our Arizona State Capital. Three performances were given, one to Secretary of State Ken Bennett and Senators Bradley and Lopez, one on the mall between the House and Senate and the third was at the opening of senate meeting.

Pueblo's Mariachi Aztlan Performs At Arizona State Capitol

Pueblo students with Secretary Bennett and Senators Bradley and Lopez.

This is the first time a student group has been invited to perform for a senate meeting. The students received a standing ovation by all the senators. The House plans to extend an invitation in the future and the comments from everyone were of the highest compliment.

Secretary Bennett, Senators Bradley & Lopez And Teachers

Fine Arts Teachers with Secretary Bennett and the Senators.

We are so proud of our Mariachi representing our school at the local, state and national level!

Mariachi Aztlan Wins 2011 Tammie Award

We are very proud to announce that our very own Mariachi Aztlán de Pueblo High School won the 2011 TAMMIES Award (Tucson Area Music) for the best Mariachi Group in the city.

This award is voted on by the Tucson community and was presented to the group at the 18th Annual Tucson Area Music Awards ceremony held on August 31 at the Rialto Theater.

2011-2012 Mariachi Aztlan Group

Congratulations to all Mariachi Aztlán members for their hard work and dedication that resulted in them earning this award!