2019 – Laura Sobrino

Remembering Laura Sobrino (1954–2015) Laura Garciacano Sobrino was one of the earliest professional female mariachi musicians in the United States. The multiple contributions this Watsonville, California native made to mariachi music include those of performer, educator, researcher, and group organizer. Trained as a classical violinist, Laura’s involvement in mariachi music began in 1975, after she […]

Hall of frame

2018 – Manuel Valle Villalpando

Widely repected in the Mariachi word, legenday performer and studio musician Manuel Valle Villalpando holds the distinction of being the most recorded mariachi trumpet player in history.  Manuel was born in 1948 in Zacatecas, Zacatecas. His father, Ignacio Valle, played tuba in the state’s Banda del Estado, later directing the municipal band of Tlaltenango, Zacatecas, […]

Hall of frame

2017 – Don Gasper & Silvester Vargas

According to Silvester Vargas, the mariachi founded by his father, Gasper Vargas, made its debut on the eve of Independence Day in their home town of Tecalitlán, Jalisco on September 15, 1898. The original four-piece group was identical in instrumentation to the traditional arpa grande ensembles that still exist in the neighboring state of Michoacán: harp, […]

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2016- Noberta Fresquez

Noberta Fresquez has been around music and entertainment her entire life. This influence along with her roots in southern New Mexico undoubtedly helped her come to love the music of mariachi. And it was this love for the music that led her on a quest to establish one of the first mariachi music conferences in […]

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2015 – Jose Hernandez

Jose Hernandez has made and continues to make an indelible mark on the music of mariachi.  Individually and through his group Mariachi Sol de Mexico, Jose has contributed mightily to increase awareness of the rich and colorful music genre of mariachi.  A proud fifth generation mariachi musician, Maestro Hernandez’ roots trace back to 1879 to the […]

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2013 – Mario Santiago

Though he was born in Ameca, Jalisco, Mario de Santiago Miranda- better known as Mario Santiago- considers the village of Guachinango, Jalisco his hometown. It was there he grew up and where his father, Castulo de Santiago, taught him to play the five-string  guitarron, before that instrument was supplanted by the modern six-string version. In 1945, after playing guitarron in his father’s […]

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2014 – Federico Torres

Guadalajara native Federico Torres began playing trumpet professionally at age 14.  In 1956, he moved to Mexico City where he spent the next several years playing with Mariachi Perla de Occidente, the group that accompanied Pedro Infante at that time.    In that ensemble, Federico played alongside Mariachi Spectacular Hall of Fame inductees Jesús Rodríguez de […]

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2012 – Natividad “Nati” Cano

Natividad Cano was born in 1933 in the tiny village of Ahuisculco, Jalisco, about 30 miles west of Guadalajara. The son and grandson of mariachi  musicians, he began playing the vihuela at age 6. By age 8, he had switched to violin and his family had moved to Guadalajara, where young  Nati began formal music lessons. At age 18, […]

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2011 – Rubén Fuentes

Rubén Fuentes is undoubtedly the most important musical figure in the history of mariachi music. More than any other individual, he is responsible for shaping mariachi music into what it is today. In 1944, at age 17, Fuentes joined Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán as a violinist, and was soon promoted to musical director of the […]

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2010 – José “Pepe” Martínez

José Martínez Barajas, better known as “Pepe Martínez,” was born in 1941 in Tecalitlán, Jalisco, the birthplace of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. His father, Blas Martínez, was a harpist who played for a period with Mariachi Vargas. When Pepe was eight years old, the Martínez family moved to Guadalajara, where he began an informal study […]

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