The 12-member group Mariachi Angeles de Pepe Martinez Jr. headlined the 8th Annual International Mariachi Festival Sunday at Bayside Park in Chula Vista, and served as official judges of the school competitions.
Presented by the Port of San Diego's Tidelands Activation Program and the National City Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the City of Chula Vista, the festival celebrated the San Diego area's widespread Mexican heritage through Mariachi music, traditional baile folklorico dancing and a series of efforts highlighting arts, culture and culinary contributions.
Jose "Pepe" Martinez Junior has lived on-stage for more than 30 years inspired by his biggest teacher and mentor, his father, affectionately known as "Don Pepe", who institutionalized mariachi music and led Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan to international stardom.
Pepe Jr. is committed to making sure the next generation of mariachi musicians receive the highest quality and most authentic instruction possible.
His mariachi ensemble were the official judges of the middle school, high school, and college mariachi student competition.
The family-friendly festival spotlights mariachi musicians from across the United States and Mexico, as well as young student mariachi groups.
"The International Mariachi Festival unites community on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border through arts, culture, and education,'' said Jacqueline Reynoso, president and CEO of the National City Chamber of Commerce.
This event has become a South Bay tradition that stimulates our bi-national economy through tourism and commerce, while promoting our rich diversity, entrepreneurial spirit, and strong ties to Mexican charro music."