Tucson Mariachi Conference & Festival brings together musicians, students from all over the country

Tucson Mariachi Conference & Festival
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 11:01 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The Tucson International Mariachi Conference is back for its 41st year.

Students from all over the country come to the Tucson Convention Center for workshops led by master mariachi musicians.

Mariachi Vargas kicked off the convention with a performance for all the students and will perform at the Linda Ronstadt Music Hall on Saturday night.

This festival is a Tucson tradition that keeps on giving to the community. The Tucson International Mariachi Conference not only puts on good entertainment but does so much for young people.

Students from John E. White Elementary School said they benefit so much from this event, learning stage presence, the ability to engage with the public, willingness to work as a team and so many other social skills.

Kindergarten teacher Bill Mark said mariachi provides years of opportunities for his musicians.

“The kids, when they recognize that mariachi exists outside of their little bubble at school, it’s not just an after-school club for them but there’s a whole community out there for them, and they realize there’s kids in middle school and other kids in elementary school and high school kids, I think it really broadens their world and shows them ... they can go so far doing this,” Mark said.

Workshops and festivities continue throughout the weekend, including Sunday mariachi mass at Saint Augustine Cathedral, which begins at noon.

Alfonso Dancil, the president of the organization, says it’s something you won’t want to miss.