It is the youth who keep mariachi music alive

Mariachi Heritage of Mexico.

Photo: Courtesy / Courtesy

Mariachi music is kept alive as the years go by thanks to great stars who have left their mark generation after generation.

Renowned exponents of mariachi music such as Vicente Fernåndez, José Alfredo Jiménez and Pedro Infante have taken the genre hand in hand with their greatest hits and despite being absent, their music leads thousands to continue to remember them.

Inspired by the hits of yesteryear, the young artists continue to bring the mariachi genre to the next generations.

One of them is Lupita Infante, who at the end of 2022 toured accompanied by Mariachi Herencia De MĂ©xico, a group of young mariachis based in Chicago.

“It has been an incredible journey. I have gotten to know 13 of the members. We have traveled together, so you get to know the people very well,” said Infante, granddaughter of the town idol and one of the best interpreters of Mexican music: Pedro Infante.

Mariachi Heritage of Mexico.

The young Infante participates in the mariachi's latest album, entitled: “Herederos”, and is aware that her collaboration with the group is a pioneering effort for the future of the genre.

"It's not just our job [como mĂșsicos]but rather that I feel that it is our duty to carry these traditions, that they be transmitted to the new generations”, expressed Infante, who asserted that his job as an artist is to bring Mexican vernacular music to every corner of the country.

Infante hopes that with the group of young mariachis they will continue to carry this genre forward and transmit their emotions to the next generations.

Passion for the mariachi

Marco Villela, 19, is a second-year college student. The young artist came to the group "Heirs" after his mother scheduled an audition behind his back. Since then, his love of classical music, jazz and mariachi has taken him to the big stages.

At his young age, Villela is one of the longest-serving members of the mariachi “Herederos” and feels inclined to continue the legacy of Mexican music.

“This is what our parents listen to, this is what our grandparents listen to,” Villela said, recalling that before joining the mariachi he was not a fan of this music. “Now that we are listening to this (music), we are appreciating culture and its dissemination more.

Villela is undoubtedly one of the heirs to the music of previous generations in the United States. He was part of the first mariachi album "Herederos" and remembers a first experience sharing the stage with greats like Mariachi Sol de MĂ©xico, Los Camperos and Mariachi Vargas de TecalitlĂĄn.

In addition, the young mariachi has collaborated with Camila Cabello in a Christmas special at the White House, going through the Univisionarios stage on national television and now with Lupita Infante among many other artists.

Villela also toured nationally and was very excited about how much he has done at his young age. "It's really cool to be able to say that I'm a college student and I'm traveling the world."

Like Lupita Infante, Marco Villela has put a lot of effort, sacrifice and determination to get the best out of his career. From being a jazz fan and not considering being part of a mariachi, he became the group's arranger and composed pieces that were later sung by great performers such as Chiquis Rivera, Joss Favela and José Manuel Figueroa. With musicians like these, the future of mariachi music will continue to be in good hands.

This article was written by USC journalism student José Romo and is a collaboration with Dímelo, a brand of USC's Annenberg School of Journalism.

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