December 12, 2020 –– This month, we were serenaded by the rich voices of traditional Mariachi. With new lockdown orders in place, the show gave us a reminder of what true passion looks like on stage. From mariachi favorites to holiday staples, Mariachi Tierra Mia gave a notable celebration to the music of Mexican culture and rang in the holiday season.
As a nod to the many changes of this year (2020), the evening opened with members of LAMusArt's Tuition-Free Choir as they performed "Higher Love" made popular by Whitney Houston more than 30 years ago. Led by teaching artist Catherine Mehta, this was one of the first performances from choir members since the spring.
Upbeat and building in intensity as only "El Son De La Negra" can, Mariachi Tierra Mia followed the choir with this mariachi favorite. It is commonly referred to as the second national anthem of Mexico due to its synonymous association with Mexican festivities and is believed to have originated in the state of Nayarit. The next piece, “Hermoso Cariño” expressed mariachi’s love for music, others, and the arts came was depicted in the bright in their voices and accompaniment.
Next up, the mariachi brought to the stage “La Malagueña” from Ernesto Lecuona. Heavily driven by violins, this piece portrayed a longingness for the “charming woman from Málaga.” Through a violin solo and the warm voice of one of the mariachi, the performance took on the articulation of the world’s smallest violin while still giving a clear insight into the musical celebration. Following the longing tone, Alvaro Carrillo’s “Sabor a Mi” took a place in the mariachi’s performance. Translating close to “Taste to Me,” the mariachi took on a display that was perfect for a celebratory lover’s dance, especially with the soft sweet falsetto of the mariachi.
“Volver Volver,” composed by Fernando Z. Maldonado, was the next performed song, meaning “To Go Back.” Speaking of “going mad” for a loved one, this piece was enough to make an audience sway in unison and fill the listener with comforting warmth. To end the show, the mariachi transitioned into a classic from Mel Tormé and Bob Wells’ with “The Christmas Song.” As the song goes, this tune sure filled hearts with joy and spirit for the season. The world renown “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano was the last piece of the show. Switching back to the initial tone of the performance, the mariachi gave us a parting present of our own, ending the concert on the perfect note for this year’s LAMusArt Live sequence.
This virtual experience marks the end of a series of artists’ performances for 2020, but there are plenty more shows to come! Join us in January for Latin-Soul Fusion Night or in the following months for more worldly experiences like this one.
Along with several other past and future performances, this event presents new sounds to students and highlights our faculty to pave the way for the appreciation of cultural music outside the boundaries of Western music. LAMusArt's mission is to provide the community of East Los Angeles with equitable and affordable access to multidisciplinary arts education programs and offer opportunities for underserved youth to partake in quality instruction regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status so they are afforded creative tools for success and social change.
To register for classes and begin your journey through the arts, visit lamusart.org/programs for individual group classes in music, art, dance, and drama for students of all skill levels. Classes are offered Monday through Thursday, from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and on Saturdays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.