dancers on stage

Culture of Mexico to be Celebrated at Musco Center’s First World CAFE FREE Arts and Culture Fiesta on Sunday, May 29

dancers on stage

Relámpago del Cielo is one of many local OC and regional arts ensembles that will perform at the first Musco World CAFE on Sunday, May 29, 2016. Afternoon events are free and open to the public.

Musco Center for the Arts presents the first of its ongoing series of World CAFEs (Cultural Arts Festivals and Events) on Sunday, May 29, 1-8 p.m. with “The Heartbeat of Mexico,” a salute to the rich music and culture of Mexico. The day-long festival includes a free fiesta featuring 16 performing companies on three stages – inside and out – with hundreds of artists, an art exhibition, a presentation on the history of women in mariachi, children’s activities, food, and fun.  An evening ticketed concert at 6 p.m. will showcase two of the top mariachi ensembles in the world: Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano and Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles.

This spectacular day of culture and events is presented by Musco Center in association with the Chapman University Latino Staff & Faculty Forum, co-chaired by Maria F. Contreras of the Chapman Admissions Office and Chapman Presidential Fellow Ruebén Martínez.  “We’re extremely proud that this very first Musco World CAFE celebrates the arts and culture of Mexico,” said Martínez.

“On the heels of our successful Community Open House & Arts Festival last month, our World CAFE programs are central to our goal of becoming completely entangled with our surrounding communities,” said Richard T. Bryant, Musco Center’s interim executive director. “We are deeply grateful to the Latino Faculty & Staff Forum for helping lead the way.”

The festival kicks off at 1pm inside the Musco Center with a free presentation by The Mariachi Women’s Foundation, followed by an audience procession to the nearby Leatherby Libraries for the ceremonial opening of “¡Viva Mariachi Femenil!,” a free exhibition of memorabilia and costumes celebrating the history of women in mariachi.

At 2 p.m. the fiesta will be in full swing with the activation of two outdoor stages – the Lawn Stage on the Aitken Arts Plaza and the Wells Fargo Stage in front of the Leatherby Libraries.  Featured are some of the region’s top Mexican music, dance and folklorico ensembles, plus a crafts, culture and food fair open to all.

The ticketed concert inside Musco Center at 6 p.m. features two nationally acclaimed ensembles:  Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, with dancers from Folklor Pasion Mexicana; and the all-women Mariachi Reyna de los Angeles, with dancers from DanzaArts – Sabor Mexico Dance Company.  Tickets for the 6 p.m. concert are $20-$35 and are available in advance at
or by calling 844-OC-MUSCO (844-626-8726).

This is the first in a series of World CAFEs Musco Center plans to offer in the coming months and years, each saluting a different country or part of the world that connects back to our surrounding region, to showcase both the traditional art forms and how those forms have evolved here in California.


“The Heartbeat of Mexico”

Sunday, May 29, 2016 – SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

1-5 p.m. – FREE Mexican Arts and Culture Fiesta
– including performances, crafts booths, food, local information and much more.

M.C.: Hector Rivera.  FREE and open to everyone!

1 p.m. – Presentation and panel discussion: “¡Viva el Mariachi Femenil!” –
Ties in to the exhibition of the same name depicting the history of women in mariachi, opening in one hour in Chapman’s Leatherby Libraries, first floor. Presentation by Dr. Leonor Xochitl Perez of The Mariachi Women’s Foundation will take place inside Musco Center, followed by a mariachi-led audience procession to Leatherby Libraries for the ceremonial opening of the exhibition.

2 p.m. –
Follow the mariachi band from the front of Musco Center to the Ribbon-cutting ceremony opening the exhibition in Leatherby Libraries: “¡Viva el Mariachi Femenil!,” presented by the Mariachi Women’s Foundation, showcases photos and artifacts depicting the history of women in mariachi from 1903-2016. The trials and tribulations of the pioneers of women in mariachi and the evolution of all-female groups into the present day will be demonstrated through historic photographs, documents, artifacts and displays of mariachi suits.

2:30 p.m.
– Mariachi Presentations – Join us in the Leatherby Libraries for two more short presentations exploring the world of mariachi:

  • “Mariachi Music in Early California”: Dr. Lauryn Salazar, Texas Tech University
  • “The Globalization of Mariachi Music”: Dr. Jessie Vallejo, Cal Poly Pomona

Henley Reading Room, Leatherby Libraries, second floor

2:30 p.m. — Zumba on the lawn.
Join us for an energetic Zumba class!

Aitken Arts Plaza lawn

2:45 p.m. — Performance: Grupo Folklorico Alma y Corazon

Aitken Arts Plaza Stage

3 p.m. — Performance: Grupo Bellas

Wells Fargo Stage in front of Leatherby Libraries

3:15 p.m. — Performance: Macondo Ballet Folklorico

Aitken Arts Plaza Stage

4 p.m. —  Performance: Herencia Mexicana

Wells Fargo Stage in front of Leatherby Libraries

4 p.m. — Performance: Relámpago del Cielo

Aitken Arts Plaza stage

4:40 p.m. — Performance: Grupo Folklorico Alma y Corazon

Aitken Arts Plaza stage

5 p.m. — Performance: Calle4 Combo

Wells Fargo Stage

5:10 p.m. — Performance: Macondo Ballet Folklorico

Aitken Arts Plaza Stage

6 p.m. – Ticketed Event: Musco World CAFE presents

Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano

With dancers from Folklor Pasion Mexicana

Mariachi Reyna de los Angeles

With dancers from DanzaArts – Sabor Mexico Dance Company

Tickets: $20 to $35 – available in advance at or 844-OC-MUSCO (844-626-8726)


Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano
, based in Los Angeles, is a Grammy Award-winning ensemble founded in the 1960s by musician Nati Cano. The group went on to perform with singer Linda Ronstadt and rose to become of the world’s best-known mariachi bands, playing Disney Hall, Carnegie Hall, Segerstrom Hall and the Kennedy Center. Nati Cano died in 2014, but his legacy truly lives on in this group.

Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles
is enriching the medium as America’s first all-female mariachi ensemble.  Founded in 1994, the group has now recorded three albums and has shared the stage with world-renowned musicians like Vicki Carr, Guadalupe Pineda and Lucha Villa.  It also has performed for some of the world’s highest-profile celebrities, including Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey, and Barack and Michelle Obama.


Since it opened on March 19, 2016, Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University has been hailed as “an ideal opera house, potentially the best in the West and maybe even something more” by the
Los Angeles Times
. Musco Center is expected to take its place among the nation’s top university arts education and performance venues, offering students and distinguished faculty the opportunity to achieve the highest standard of arts-related education through hands-on, real-world production and performance experience. At Musco Center, the surrounding community will enjoy large-scale opera and theatre productions, touring dance companies, symphonies, chamber performances, jazz concerts, popular music and much more. For more information about Musco Center and its upcoming events, and to purchase tickets online, visit ###

Mary Platt

Mary Platt is director of the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University

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