Jesús Rodríguez de Hijar was born in the town of Tequila, Jalisco. At an early age, he learned the vihuela, later changing to violin. At the age of seven, he moved briefly to Mexico City, where he lived near the Plaza Garibaldi. At that time his uncle, Antonio de Híjar, played with the famous Mariachi Tapatío de José Marmolejo. After completing his military service at age 18, Rodriguez returned to Mexco City where he attended the Escuela Libre de Música, studying with such distinguished teachers as José F. Vásquez and Rafael de Paz.
Working his way up from modest groups in Plaza Garibaldi, Rodríguez de Híjar eventually joined Mariachi Perla de Occidente, a group that accompanied Javier Solís in recordings and toured extensively with Pedro Infante, In the early 1950s, Mariachi Vargas frequently used Rodríguez on their recording sessions. By the middle of that decade he had become a member of the group, replacing Ruben Fuentes when Fuentes left to take a position at RCA Records. For two decades, Rodríguez de Híjar made an indelible contribution to mariachi music as Mariachi Vargas’ musical director and arranger. In the mid-1970s, he left Vargas and formed his own Mariachi de América, where he continues to perpetuate the musical tradition of Mariachi Vargas.
Rodriguez has been a master teacher and musical consultant for the Mariachi Spectacular since 1992. The Mariachi Spectacular at the University of New Mexico’s Division of Continuing Education is proud to induct into the International Mariachi Hall of Fame one of the mariachi music’s immortal giants, don Jesús Rodríguez de Híjar