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A Brief History on the Mariachi Tradition


Laura Sobrino "The Mariachi Queen"

Laura Garciacano Sobrino was first dubbed the "Mariachi Queen" in 1995 by the Los Angeles Times. In 1996, an NBC national morning show featured a segment on her as a pioneer female mariachi and as a positive role model for the new generation of mariachi musicians.

Mrs. Sobrino began playing the violin in elementary school in her hometown of Watsonville, CA when she was eight years old.  She received music awards through-out her public education.  After graduating from Aptos High School in 1972, her career as a semi-professional mariachi began in 1975 while studying for her B.A. in music at the University of California in Santa Cruz. After finishing her studies, she moved to the Los Angeles area to perform professionally, becoming the first woman to play in some of the nation's most prestigious mariachi groups.  Those groups include the Mariachi Los Galleros de Pedro Rey and the Mariachi Sol de México de José L. Hernández.  Laura Sobrino is the former director and lead violinist for the Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, and was originally responsible for searching for the female talent in that mariachi.  Mrs. Sobrino is currently the musical director and violinist for the new all-female mariachi show group, "Mariachi Mujer 2000."

Throughout those years, she also taught mariachi musicians, young and old, at local colleges and in her home. Laura has had many students continue on to become professional mariachi performers and singers.  She was even the first teacher for professional recording artists like Tatiana Bolaños (Sony International), Nydia Rojas (Arista Records) and Friné Medrano.  Ms. Sobrino has also been one of the featured instructors for the workshops at many of the well-known mariachi festivals nationwide.  Currently, she is teaching mariachi classes privately in her home and at Salesian High School in Los Angeles, CA.  Laura is also involved with mariachi performance through the free-lance circuit in the Los Angeles area.

It was through these classes that she recognized the need for transcribing mariachi music for the non-mariachi musician. She decided to begin her own publication distribution in order to provide a more exemplary repertory from the mariachi tradition. For this reason, Ms. Sobrino initiated her own publishing company, the Mariachi Publishing Company. Also, two of her transcriptions were purchased by the Southern Music Company from Texas and have been selling world-wide.

She lives in Whittier, CA with her husband, Dan, and two children, Nicté and Nazul.

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