The mariachi and folk dance show that will be presented at the Musco Center seeks to give equal importance to both artistic expressions

Kareli Montoya, founder of the Los Angeles Folkloric Ballet, and Jimmy Cuéllar, musical director of Mariachi Garibaldi of Jaime Cuéllar, realized that the mariachi shows and Mexican regional dance had ceased to be as before, when both groups had the same importance on stage.

"Now it looks a lot that if it is a mariachi event, the ballet comes out for a while and leaves, or if it is a folkloric ballet show the mariachi only plays a few pieces and leaves," said Cuellar.

Hence the idea of ​​this couple to return to make concerts in which both artistic expressions complement each other, instead of taking away from each other. And the first show they thought of riding was Christmas Eve: Christmas Eve in Mexico, a show that celebrates the Mexican Christmas tradition and will take place at the Musco Center for the Arts on Wednesday.

The peculiarity of this show is that it includes music that is not very common to be performed with mariachi, such as classic songs such as "Jingle Bells" and "Sleigh Ride" to the rhythm of polka.

"There are also Disney songs with mariachi for children and in the end" Blanca Navidad "and a medley with traditional Mexican sounds," Montoya said. "And this year we are going to present" The Waltz of the Flowers ", by (ballet) Nutcracker, with Chiapas costumes."

But there are also popular songs that Mexican families usually sing on Christmas Eve, by composers like José Alfredo Jiménez and Juan Gabriel.

Montoya and Cuéllar, who are married, met when they both participated in the shows offered at La Fonda, a Mexican food restaurant located in downtown Los Angeles. She was part of the folkloric ballet of Mariachi Los Camperos by Nati Cano, where Cuéllar played.

After ten years with that group, Cuellar decided to become independent and form his own Mariachi, and Montoya did the same, but after having gone to Colima, Mexico, to specialize in his dance.

What they also have in common is that they belong to families in which many of their members are also artists. In the case of Montoya, all his brothers dance, while Cuéllar's dad and uncles are musicians of renowned Mariachis. For example, Mariachi Garibaldi accompanied Paquita la del Barrio in the recent show that the singer offered a few days ago in Los Angeles; and he will also accompany Eugenia León in the concert he will give on December 14 at the Soraya Theater.

Now under his direction, Jimmy Cuellar hopes to continue the tradition that his father began more than 20 years ago, and at the same time, next to his wife, relive the pairing that exists between this music and folkloric ballet, a task of the that Montoya is an expert.

In detail

What: Christmas Eve: Christmas Eve in Mexico

When: Wednesday, 7:30 pm

Where: Musco Center for the Arts, 415 N., Glassell, Orange

As: $ 25 to $ 58 tickets

Reports: (844) 626-8726 and


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