Guadalajara, Mexico - The spirit of Mexico's rich culture runs hot in the veins of its Mariachi, the musical icons who serenade the nation's boulevards, public squares, and sidewalks with a brand and style of music that is both unique and legendary. Like the Charros (Mexican Cowboys), the Mariachi is a symbol of nationalism and culture, tracing its origins to the State of Jalisco.
So it's only logical that the Encuentro Nacional del Mariachi Tradicional (The National Encounter of Traditional Mariachi, or ENMT) will celebrate its 18th anniversary from August 11-17, 2019 with a program that will run for eight days in nine public venues in the Guadalajara region of the state.
The neighborhoods of Analco and Las Nueve Esquinas, in Guadalajara; El Malecón de Coexcomatitlán, in Tlajomulco; and El Barrio Pedro Moreno, in Tonalá, are just some of the places that will host this celebration that will feature 35 Mariachi groups, 35 activities, 18 Fandangos, and three galas at the historic Degollado Theater in Guadalajara.
The Traditional Mariachi ensemble is smaller than the modern group, consisting of as few as four musicians who play only string instruments. The vihuela, a small, high-pitched five string guitar with a rounded back, and the guitarron, a stout guitar-shaped bass, are two of the distinctive instruments essential to a Mariachi troupe.
Music and dance coexist in Traditional Mariachi. Small ensembles perform traditional repertoires in musical genres such as Jarabe, Minuete, Polka, Valona, Choti, Vals and Corrido, and are accompanied by dancers wearing heels that tap to the music on a wooden stage. Sometimes the musicians themselves act as the zapateadores.
The festivities continue on Sunday, August 11 at 5:00 pm with the inaugural Mariachi Gala to be held at the Degollado Theater, where groups from Aguascalientes, Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán and Nayarit will perform.
From August 13-16, musicians, academics and Mariachi enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of unique performances by groups from all over Mexico, and even a few from the United States, as well as participate in music and dance workshops and conferences at the Colegio de Jalisco.
The festival will come to a close on Saturday, August 17, with a day full of "Mariachi Madness" that starts with children's groups of musicians and dancers from Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Nayarit, and San Francisco, California performing at 10:00 am at the Plaza de la Liberación on Degollado Street, between Hidalgo and Morelos in the heart of downtown Guadalajara.
At 5:00 pm, the Gala de Mariachi Tradicionales will be held at Teatro Degollado, where groups from various states will perform and awards will be given to the festival's most prominent participants.
This will be followed at 7:00 pm by El Gran Fandango in La Plaza de la Liberación, where Mariachi groups from various states, and certainly from Jalisco, will bring the 18th National Meeting of the Traditional Mariachi to a close.
Click HERE for the full schedule of events and workshops (in Spanish), which are all free and open to the public.Source: Gobierno del Estado de Jalisco