José Pepe Martinez

José "Pepe" Martínez was born in Tecalitlán, Jalisco, Mexico, and joined his first mariachi band as a violinist at the age of twelve. He began writing music when he was nineteen years old, and in 1966 formed his own mariachi ensemble, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán. In 1975, he joined Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, and his work with that ensemble established him as a composer and arranger, marking a new era for Mariachi Vargas and creating a sonic style that has become synonymous with el mejor mariachi del mundo-the best mariachi in the world. "Somos Novios" and "El Cascabel" are two of the first songs Martínez arranged for his new group; original works such as "Violín Huapango," "Lluvia de cuerdas," "Mexicanísimo," and "Viva Veracruz" with its rapid violin ricochets-a Martínez signature-followed. Today, Martínez continues writing, learning, performing, and breaking new ground in the creation of mariachi music as the music director of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.

OPERA America/Opera.ca Grants Awarded
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The Opera Fund: Audience Development 2017

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Opera Santa BarbaraCruzar la Cara de la Luna10/1/2021 - 10/3/2021
Fort Worth OperaEl Pasado Nunca Se Termina5/10/2019 - 5/12/2019
El Paso OperaTo Cross the Face of the Moon / Cruzar la Cara de la Luna4/5/2019 - 4/6/2019
Houston Grand OperaTo Cross the Face of the Moon / Cruzar la Cara de la Luna5/17/2018 - 5/20/2018
Fort Worth OperaCruzar la Cara de la Luna4/29/2017 - 5/7/2017
San Diego Opera AssociationEl Pasado Nunca Se Termina4/25/2015 - 4/25/2015
Lyric Opera of ChicagoEl Pasado Nunca Se Termina3/13/2015 - 3/29/2015
Arizona OperaCruzar la Cara de la Luna10/10/2014 - 10/18/2014
Houston Grand OperaTo Cross the Face of the Moon / Cruzar la Cara de la Luna11/12/2010 - 11/12/2010

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