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Arts & Culture

San Antonio's Jazz, TX To Feature Mariachi 'Extravaganza'

An event will be held Wednesday at a San Antonio club known for jazz. But the music performed there that night, decidedly won't be.


"Their main influence is jazz but they bring Texas swing; they bring salsa; they've had Latin jazz; so now they're bringing mariachi,” one of the night's performers at the Pearl's Jazz, TX, Robert Casillas, said. “And I guess it kind of goes with the culture of San Antonio.”

IF YOU GO What: A Taste of the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Where: Jazz, TX, 312 Pearl Parkway, Bldg 6 Suite 6001 When: 7 p.m. Wednesday Cost: $20

San Antonio is known as a cultural crossroads, where musical influences cross paths. And in so doing, this confluence often creates something altogether new.

"I guess that's the cool part about this whole thing. Mariachi is very universal, very diverse," he said.

Casillas is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, and he will be playing along with several other invited guests — in and outside the world of mariachi, including award-winning ranchera singer Vanessa Alonzo; pianist Esteban Alvarez; and Broadway actress and singer Christina Maxwell.

“And when you bring around these musicians — a Broadway player, a piano —who would've thought a piano fitting into a mariachi scene. But why not?" he said.

The performance is part of a weeklongMariachi Vargas Extravaganza, which culminates in a final performance of competition winners at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Lila Cockrell Theater.  

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org