Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Appoints Traditional Music Director

Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Appoints Traditional Music Director

The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center appoints long-time music instructor Gumecindo "Gino" Rivera to the position of Traditional Music Director at the Guadalupe Academy. Rivera has taught mariachi classes, vocals, and individual instruments at the Guadalupe Academy for 12 years and is the musical director of the professional mariachi group Azteca de America.

"The Guadalupe strives to keep our cultural traditions alive by teaching youth, teens and adults performance-based classes year-round through the Guadalupe Academy," said Cristina Ballí, Executive Director. "By elevating Gino to director of traditional music, we cement our dedication to this mission and benefit from Gino's artistic talents as a musician and professionalism as a cultural ambassador and working artist."

Academy classes are offered in the Galería building located at 723 South Brazos and feature several studio spaces. Students are given opportunities to participate in recitals, public performances and become part of the Guadalupe art community. The Guadalupe Academy is one of the prominent educational programs for traditional and contemporary Latino art forms in San Antonio and students can register for Summer, Winter and Spring sessions. Scholarships are available for participants living in the 78207 Westside neighborhood.

Rivera's students perform as an ensemble throughout San Antonio at fiestas, concerts, Guadalupe cultural events, and seasonal recitals. In addition to technique and skill, Rivera includes lessons on music theory, arranging, transcribing, ear training, repertoire, and stage performance. Students as young as 6 wow audiences with their confident stage presence and talent. With Mariachi Azteca de America, Rivera performs at major concert venues, backing up International Artists, and produces the annual sold-out Valentine's concert, Noche de Romance, in the historic Guadalupe Theater.

Rivera hails from three generations of Mariachi Los Parientes and formed part of Mariachi Mexicanisimo and Mariachi Azteca de Juan Rocha. He founded Mariachi Azteca de America on March 18, 2006. Dedication to traditional elements of mariachi music and the creation of original compositions, the group's repertoire consists of the traditional styles of Jose Alfredo Jimenez, Javier Solis, Vicente Fernandez to a unique sound from original pieces by Gino Rivera. They placed 1st at the Houston Stock Show and Rodeo professional mariachi competition in 2015 and 2016. They have opened for La Arrolladora Banda El Limón, La Maquinaria Nortena, Los Huracanes Del Norte, and Los Recoditos for a record breaking 76,000 people. Azteca de América has shared the stage with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, Mariachi Sol de Mexico and has accompanied Placido Domingo, Aida Cuevas, Paquita La Del Barrio, Steven Sandoval and many others. They teach and perform at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza and produced the first annual "Fiesta Del Mariachi" spectacular during San Antonio's Fiesta season. Azteca de America recorded their first album, "Dame un Minuto" in 2015 and are set to release their second album this fall.

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