Honoring tradition, growth
The Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque (MSA) conference and festival has deep roots in the sonic landscape of our fair city. The primary sponsor of the three-day series is an entity known as Atrisco Companies, which evolved out of the Atrisco Land Grant system and continues to have a substantial impact on the South Valley cultural ecosystem.
For two decades, MSA performers have celebrated established traditions and explored the evolution of the genre while performing alongside world-renowned musicians. Highlights include music education workshops at UNM Main Campus and a Mariachi Mass on Saturday, July 12, at San Jose Parish (2401 Broadway SE) at 1pm.
Following the annual induction ritual, musicians of all ages work toward the Showcase Concert. This year's showcase happens at Civic Plaza on Friday, July 11, at 6:30pm. The highest-ranking performers at this recital perform at the main event, the Spectacular Concert. For showcase rules and entry forms, visit bit.ly/MSAshowcase.
The Spectacular Concert tunes up at 7pm on Saturday, July 12, at Sandia Casino Amphitheater (30 Rainbow Road), and it's not to be missed. Aside from showcase winners, the bill features mariachi masters like Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jóse Hernàndez, Mariachi Internacional Guadalajara de German Gutierrez and Mariachi Mujer 2000.
Tickets for the spectacular cost between $45 and $55, but the showcase is free and open to the public. Musicians interested in participating in conference workshops and fans hoping to learn more about MSA history can visit mariachispectacular.com.