Fundraising events for young mariachi students

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Mariachi music is no longer just for birthday, wedding or graduation parties. For the next few weeks, it’s also for Tuesdays at Coachella.

Fernando Gonzalez, a mariachi instructor, and Mayor Steven Hernandez started Mariachi Tuesdays at the Coachella Library kiosk on November 23 as a fundraising effort to purchase instruments for local children and teens interested in the ‘learning. They plan to be there with a live mariachi every Tuesday, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., for 10 weeks. The goal is to raise $ 50,000 by then.

“It’s gonna be like old school tardeada, where, if you come, you pay $ 3, you get a little tape, and you listen to the mariachi. It’s a dollar an hour! ”Hernandez said of the fundraiser. tardeada is Spanish for an afternoon gathering for entertainment.

Hernandez said Gonzalez and a group of his Coachella Valley musician friends play the events at $ 500 by Tuesday – a major deal for the cause, while depending on the size of the ensemble, mariachis tend to charge between $ 400 and $ 2,000. one o’clock.

Those who attend can make additional donations if they wish to request a song or – if they are brave enough – sing a song with the mariachi.

Mariachi Tuesdays also include food, with tacos from Masa Maya, a house tortilla business in Coachella that will donate a portion of its proceeds to fundraising.

Currently, Gonzalez, who plays the guitarron, is already giving instrument and vocal lessons to 20 students at Coachella Valley Apartments. He said the idea of ​​Mariachi Tuesdays is to eventually increase the number of students to 100.

Guitarist, singer and instructor Fernando Gonzalez performs with his band on the first Mariachi Tuesday at the Coachella Library kiosk on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, in Coachella, Calif.

“My whole family is made up of mariachis. I am the youngest of six children and all of them are mariachis,” Gonzalez said. “This is what I have done all my life and I would like to return the blessing given to me to Coachella students.”

Gonzalez has performed with top mariachis like Sol de Mexico and Mariachi Los Galleros in the past.

Gonzalez and Hernandez are both of Mexican descent and agreed that because mariachi is such a big part of the culture, they would like younger generations to learn and enjoy it the way they do.

“I was introduced to mariachi music when I was young,” Hernandez said, recalling a time when he was fascinated by a violin player in a mariachi ensemble playing so loud, “it was like smoke is coming out of it. I just think it’s a nice kind of music. “

Hernandez hopes to join in the fun of learning to play mariachi music, having recently purchased his own violin.

Eliana Perez covers the east of the Coachella Valley. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @ElianaPress.


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