Jarabe Mexicano Reimagines Kiwanis Cinco de Mayo Celebration
By Teresa Monaco
For over thirty years, the Kiwanis Club of San Diego has sponsored an annual fundraising concert for the SDSU School of Music and Dance. The Cinco de Mayo Concert in the Park has filled this role for the last ten years, showcasing the school’s talented ensembles in a free, fun and popular celebration for the whole family.
Jarabe Mexicano, an ensemble inspired by Latin American Sonora orchestras and modern-day mariachi music, performed alongside the SDSU Jazz Ensemble at the 2016 Cinco de Mayo concert. “When we performed last year, I realized that the program was not connecting to the public. Our goal is to make Cinco de Mayo Concert in the Park the go-to Cinco de Mayo celebration in San Diego. When people want to celebrate this holiday as a family, they should think of SDSU and Jarabe in Balboa Park.”
The Kiwanis Club of San Diego made the move to sponsor Jarabe Mexicano in curating the 2017 Cinco de Mayo concert, whose involvement has increased from a brief performance in 2016 to overseeing the entire event. Eguia continues, “We have added food trucks, mariachi, Mexican repertoire, a guest appearance from news anchor Carlos Amezcua, and arrangements for Jarabe and Wind Symphony as well as Jarabe and Jazz Ensemble.”
The concert will feature the SDSU Jazz Ensemble, Wind Symphony, and Jarabe Mexicano with a special tribute to the music of Juan Gabriel and more. Master of Ceremonies and local celebrity Carlos Amezcua will salute his father, Don Oscar Amezcua, and his legendary group Mariachi Gudalajara.
The culturally refreshed Cinco de Mayo Concert in the Park, under the director of Jarabe Mexicano, will take place on Friday, May 5 at 6:00 p.m. in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park. Pre-concert festivities begin at 4:00 p.m. in the Plaza de Panama with the City Heights Mariachi Ensemble and a robust offering of cuisines, courtesy of San Diego’s finest food trucks.
Eguia shares, “To Jarabe, this event enables us to reach out and connect with our local community as well as solidifies our bond with professors at SDSU, which I believe is a great experience for everyone involved.”