A week on the scene
Mariachi fans are in for a treat this weekend as Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, the legendary 107-year-old ensemble, makes its annual appearance in the Alamo City as part of a three-day mariachi extravaganza featuring workshops, vocal and group competitions, performances and a mariachi mass.
For a decade now, San Antonio has hosted the event, which organizers expect to bring in more than 700 students from around the country, including those representing mariachi programs at Palo Alto College, UTSA, and newcomers Our Lady of the Lake University. Group competitions run from 5-10 p.m. on Friday, December 3, followed by those for vocalists on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Both will be held at the Municipal Auditorium, and are free and open to the public.
Mariachi Vargas headlines on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Municipal Auditorium, where they will perform traditional medleys alongside new material, including an arrangement of opera singer Andrea Bocelli's "Por Ti, Volaré," which event producer Cynthia Muñoz describes as "phenomenal." The first time she heard it, she says, "it just knocked me off my chair." UTSA's 65-piece student orchestra will back Mariachi Vargas on this unique blending of classical traditions from two continents. Mariachi Vargas will close out the festivities on Sunday morning with a mariachi mass at the Sacred Heart Chapel on Our Lady of the Lake's campus. The mass begins at 11:30 a.m.
Chavez crime family reunion
Dedicated SA headbangers have probably noticed that the public-access cult-favorite Robb's Metalworks has been on indefinite hiatus in recent months, spurring erroneous rumors of its demise. But Robb Chavez, the show's host and creator, simply needed a break after seven solid years of satisfying our hunger for high-decibel mayhem, and he's back and reinvigorated for the imminent new year. Beginning in January, Robb's Metalworks will expand to two hours in length (the first local public-access show to go that long), with each episode airing three times a month, and new episodes appearing bimonthly.
Chavez recently completed his maiden two-hour episode, with segments on Damage Plan, Exodus, Lyzanxia, Crisis and local favorites Uriel, shot in the act at White Rabbit. Chavez and his crew also plan to shoot footage on Friday, December 3 at Sunset Station for the Jagermeister metal blockbuster featuring Slayer, Killswitch, Mastodon, and Powderburn.