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The National City Chamber of Commerce and the University of San Diego invite mariachi students to participate in two days of comprehensive mariachi workshops that include instruction from some of mariachi’s most renowned artists.  Classes cover instruction in guitarrón, guitar, violin, vihuela, armonia, harp and voice. Entry fees include lunch for participants on both dates of the workshop. 


Submit applications to 


Mariachi Workshop Instructors on March 8-9, 2019 include:

Rigoberto Alfaro, 

Musical Director

Rigoberto Alfaro Rodríguez was born in Yurécuaro, Michoacan on November 1, 1934, the fourth of eight children born to mariachi violinist Guadalupe Alfaro and his wife, Esperanza Rodríguez. When he was nine years old, Rioberto’s family moved to Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, where they remained for five years. From Nuevo Laredo, they moved to Mexico City, where young Alfaro began his musical career as a guitar player in his father’s group, Mariachi Arandense, an ensemble that worked in the famous Plaza Garibaldi.

Sergio Caratachea,

Violin Master Instructor

Caratache comes from a family of fine mariachi has over 35 years of experience in performing, teaching, directing, composing, and arranging. He is a master violinist, having performed and recorded with multiple artists, including Vicente Fernandez, Joan Sebastian, Luis Miguel, Julio Preciado, Dina Buendia, Pepe Aguilar, and many others. He is a renowned composer in mariachi, having his works premiered by Mariachi Internacional Guadalajara. He currently serves as professor of violin at the "Music Master" of the "Department of Education Jalisco".

Javier Rodriguez,

Trumpet Master Instructor

Born in Tlaltenango, Zacatecas.  At the age of eight he began his musical studies.  At the age of thirteen, he began to develop his talent as a trumpet player.  Two years later he immigrated to the Unites States where he began playing with his uncle in Mariachi Nuevo Zapopan.  Shortly after he returned to Mexico to continue his studies at the University of Guadalajara, while studying he was a member of Mariachi Los Toritos de Ramón Ibarra, as well as a member of a versatile orchestra.  Throughout the years Mr. Rodriguez was a member of great mariachis such as Mariachi Sol de México and Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano. Now he focuses on recording new music and teaching  workshops. 

Jonathan Clark,

Mariachi Historian

Jonathan Clark heard mariachi music for the first time as a student at San José State University in 1975, he began accompanying a local ballet folklórico. In 1977, his desire to learn this music led him to Mexico City, where he received invitations to play with groups in Plaza Garibaldi. After Natividad de Santiago, guitarronist with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, became his mentor, he decided to move to Mexico indefinitely.

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Juan Manuel Arpero

Originally from Villagrán Guanajuato. Arpero began his musical studies at the age of six along with his father, Felipe Arpero, within the tradition of the band of his town. He continued his career at the National Conservatory of Music with Felipe León and Jim Thompson. In Los Angeles, California, he completed his studies of technique and musical performance with James Stamp and Rafael Méndez in 1981, as well as the orchestral direction with Jonny Schteschko. Later in 1987, Arpero received the Lira de Oro prize, maximum award that grants the SUTM. In 1988, he founded the Festival "Bandas de Guanajuato,” within the Cervantino International

Festival, which he directed from its creation until 2010, a festival that gave rise to his music training system throughout the state of Guanajuato. He has performed lectures and concerts in Europe, the United States, and most of Latin America.

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Maciel Aldo Barboda


Former guitarrista at Mariachi Internacional Guadalajara.

Studied at Escuela Superior Diocesana De Música Sagrada De Guadalajara.

Lives in Guadalajara Jalisco.

From San Lucas Evangelista, Jalisco, Mexico


Rene Mejia


Was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco. He began his musical studies in the Escuela de Música de Tuxpan,

Jalisco, where he studied solfège, music theory and music history.

Soon after, he returned back to Guadalajara to continue his

studies, including music composition and piano. Rene has contributed his knowledge to many youth music

education programs, including Mariachi Alegría, Mariachi Hacienda, Mariachi del Centro Universitario del Sur de la Universidad de Guadalajara. He has traveled around the world to

countries like Belgium and the U.S. to teach music in workshops dedicated to mariachi, with the association Familias del Mundo (FAMIDO). Rene is also the founder of La Banda Municipal de Zapotiltic, La Orquesta Sinfónica de El Rincón Zapotiltic, La Orquesta Sinfónica de Huescalapa. Zapotiltic, La Orquesta Sinfónica del Centro Universitario del Sur de la Universidad de Guadalajara.


Berna De Santiago


Widely/unanimously regarded as the

most prolific member of one of mariachi music's most distinguished families. Berna was born in the town of

Guachinango, Jalisco, where, like his father, he began playing guitarrón. In the 1950's, his family moved to

Mexico City, where his brother Mario, became the guitarrón player for mariachi Vargas. He did not start to

study guitarrón seriously until after his brother, Natividad, became the new guitarrón player for mariachi

Vargas in 1958. His first major group was mariachi Tolteca de Miguel Martinez, which he performed with

through the late 60's. He then went on to perform with Mariachi Oro y Plata de Pepe Chávez for 16 years, and with Mariachi Águilas de América for 18 years. Following that, he had short stints in various other groups, including Mariachi Mexico de Pepe Villa. His son Enrique, following in his family's footsteps, has been the guitarrón player for mariachi Vargas since 1981.

The workshops will be held on March 6 and 7 at the University of San Diego.  The enrollment period ends February 14, 2020.  Space is limited. Explore hotel options HERE. Special rates offered at National City Hotels.

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