This year we are very proud to bring you as our special guests, one of the biggest names in Mariachi bands around the globe, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano.
Mariachi Los Camperos was founded in 1960 by mariachi "giant" Natividad “Nati” Cano. His passing in October 2014 was mourned nationwide by performers, students, and lovers of mariachi. In the words of Jesus "Chuy" Guzman, Artistic Director of Los Camperos, "... el mundo del mariachi ha perdido un gigante" (the mariachi world has lost a giant). A traditionalist and a visionary, Cano played an integral role in the development of mariachi music in North America by training and mentoring new generations of mariachi musicians, by expanding the repertoire, and by bringing mariachi performance out of the traditional venue, the cantinas, and into the concert hall. Cano's seminal contribution to mariachi was marked by institutions as diverse as UCLA, where he where he taught for many years and revitalized the "Music of Mexico" program, and the Smithsonian Museum, whose recording label Smithsonian Folkways released a number of albums recorded by Los Camperos, including the Grammy winner, Amor, Dolor y Lágrima. Smithsonian Folkways will release a new album by Los Camperos in 2015.
Nati Cano was born in 1933 into a family of mariachi musicians in Jalisco, Mexico, one of the many west Mexican communities that gave life to the mariachi tradition. His career took him first to nearby Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, and then to Los Angeles, where he founded Los Camperos. The ensemble emerged as a major driving force of mariachi music in the United States and celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2010. Los Camperos is known for Cano's musical arrangements that highlight the individual skills and voices of the players. The ensemble features the finest musicians from Mexico and the United States and has performed for audiences worldwide.
Mariachi Los Camperos was one of four mariachi bands that collaborated on Linda Ronstadt’s album, Canciones de Mi Padre (Songs of my Father). In 1988-89, the group worked on the promotion of the album, including national television appearances on programs such as The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and the Grammy Awards Show. They also appear on Linda Ronstadt’s Mas Canciones (More Songs).
The ensemble has recorded nine albums including: Puro Mariachi (Indigo Records, 1961); North of the Border(RCA/Carino Records, 1965); El Super Mariachi, Los Camperos (Latin International, 1968); Valses de Amor (La Fonda Records, 1973); Canciones de Siempre (PolyGram Latino, 1993); Sounds of Mariachi (Delfin Records, 1996) and Fiesta Navidad (Delfin Records, 1997); Viva el Mariachi (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2003); Llegaron Los Camperos, (Smithsonian Folkways, 2005.) Los Camperos shared a 2005 Best Musical Album for Children Grammy for cELLAbration!, A tribute to Ella Jenkins. In 2006, the album Llegaron Los Camperos was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album. In 2008, the group released their third CD with Smithsonian Folkways, entitled Amor, Dolor y Lágrima that won the 2009 Grammy for Best Regional Mexican Album. The group has most recently been nominated for a 2016 Grammy for Best Regional Mexican Album for Tradición, Arte Y Pasión.
Check out the some of the photos from our 2015 mariachi and folklorico students