Inglewood

The Group That Basically Invented the Mariachi Sound, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, is set to Perform in Inglewood

Here is all you need to know about the group whose origins trace back to the state of Jalisco, Mexico. 

Photo courtesy of Mariachi Vargas

On Saturday, April 15, Mariachi Vargas will grace the YouTube Theater in Inglewood. The 126-year-old mariachi ensemble is on its “Mexicano Desde La Raiz World Tour” and will perform in Mexico, Canada, the U.S., and Colombia.

Located South of Jalisco, Mariachi Vargas was born in Tecalitlán. Now the region is considered the birthplace of where “mariachi music was developed” largely because of the Vargas Mariachi group. No other mariachi in the country or in the world has had an influence on the genre remotely close to theirs. 

During the 1890s the founder of the group, Don Gaspar Vargas invented what is known today as the modern mariachi - an ensemble whose members sing from the depths of their souls about love, heartbreak and life's hardships.

The internationally acclaimed group became synonymous to “El mejor mariachi del mundo” (the best Mariachi in the world) in the 1950s, and although the slogan was created for advertising purposes, the group has lived up to the slogan as their melodies continued to shape and influence the sound of mariachi groups generations later. 

Because Mariachi Vargas spans five generations and is over 100 years old, none of its original members are in the group. But because of successors like exceptional musical talents Ruben Fuentes and Jose “Pepe” Martinez, the mariachi continued to establish itself as the epitome of mariachi sound, showmanship, and elegance. 

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán created its notable sound by including three different categories of instruments in the mariachi ensemble: melodic, rhythmic and bass instruments. 

Melodic: Their pure melodic sound is created by the violin or trumpet or sung by a vocalist. But the melody is usually created by all three in harmony with one another. 

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Rhythmic: The rhythm of the Vargas mariachi is produced by the guitar and the vihuela. 

Bass: The guitarrón and harp are considered the foundation of the mariachi sound.

Today, Mariachi Vargas is composed of 15 instruments:

  • 7 violins
  • 3 trumpets
  • 2 guitars 
  • 1 vihuela 
  • 1 arpa
  • 1 guitarrón

Tickets start at $45 for the April 15 concert in LA.

For more information about tickets and concert dates, click here

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