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About this Piece

Mariachitlán (Mariachiland) is an orchestral homage to my birthplace, the Mexican state of Jalisco, where mariachi music originated. The work recounts my experience visiting the Plaza de los Mariachis in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco, a place where mariachis play their songs in every corner and interrupt each other to win over the crowd.

In Mariachitlán, traditional rhythms such as the canción ranchera (ranchera song) in 2/4 time (choon-tah choon-tah), the vals romántico (romantic waltz) in 3/4 time (choon-tah-tah), and the son jalisciense (Jalisco song) that alternates between 6/8 and 3/4 time, accompany original melodies inspired by the beautiful landscapes of Jalisco. Mariachi instruments such as the trumpet, harp, and violin are featured as soloists in this work. Furthermore, the strings emulate the strumming patterns of vihuleas, while the contrabasses growl like guitarrones.

Near the end of the piece, a policeman blows his whistle in an attempt to stop the party. However, the crowd chants Mariachitlán, gradually increasing in intensity, and is rewarded with more vibrant music that ends the work with great brilliance.

Mariachitlán won the 2016 Jalisco Orchestral Composition Contest and was nominated for a 2019 Latin GRAMMY® Award for Best Arrangement.