Born in Jalisco, the cradle of mariachi music, Heriberto Molina served as the lead vocalist of the legendary Mariachi Vargas de Tecalilitlán for more than 30 years. This group, which celebrates its centennial this year has charted the course of Mexican folk and traditional music since the 1930’s and continues to serve as a symbol of Mexican culture throughout the world. As the solo vocalist of the Mariachi Vargas, Mr. Molina sang for heads of state from Sir Winston Churchill of England, Konrad Adenhauer of Germany, and René Coty of France to Sukarno of Indonesia, the Emperor of Japan and monarchs of Spain and Holland. Among his fondest memories is his performance for Queen Elizabeth II of England where she asked him to sing the immortal Mexican songs, Bésame Mucho, Solamente Una Vez, Granada, and Cielito Lindo. In addition, Heriberto Molina, as a member of the most famous mariachi ensemble in the world, recorded countless LPs and appeared in numerous films with every major Mexican star from Jorge Negrete and Pedro Infante to José Alfredo Jiménez and Vicente Fernández.
In 1983 Heriberto Molina retired from the Mariachi Vargas and immigrated to the United States, where he has continued to perform with California’s leading groups, including Los Camperos, Los Galleros, and Mariachi Uclatlán. He has also continued his study of voice with Richard McComb of the Metropolitan Opera and the famous Chilean operatic baritone, Hernán Pelayo. In 1990, Mr. Molina wrote the first vocal method specifically designed for mariachi singers. Since then, he has added two more books on vocal technique, based on his own vast experience and needs of his students.
Mr. Molina is considered the ultimate authority of mariachi singing and is in great demand at mariachi festivals and conferences in the United States and Mexico. He has been an artist-teacher at the Los Angeles School of Music and Art since 1990. Heriberto Molina has been the artist-teacher of the vocal workshop for the UNM Division of Continuing Education Mariachi Spectacular workshop series for the past four years.