Mariachi genre band perform in Haag Recital Hall and Marsee Auditorium

Jos%C3%A9+Mart%C3%ADn+Marquez+and+Gustavo+Alcoser+perform+at+Marsee+Auditorium+on+Friday%2C+May+11%2C+2018.+Photo+credit%3A+Jack+Kan

José Martín Marquez and Gustavo Alcoser perform at Marsee Auditorium on Friday, May 11, 2018. Photo credit: Jack Kan

After being El Camino College music professor Alan Chan introduce the band Jarabe Mexicano, the group offered audience members a preview lecture-demonstration at the Haag Recital Hall on Thursday, May 10.

“Jarabe” can mean concoction and it is also a mariachi genre of music and dance. The band’s five members, Gustavo Alcoser, Chris A. Behrens, Danny Brito, Kevin Lomes, and José Martín Marquez are all bilingual with backgrounds in musical education.

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Gustavo Alcoser chats with EC music professor Alan Chan before the Jarabe Mexicano lecture at Haag Recital Hall on Thursday, May 10. Photo credit: Jack Kan
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Danny Brito plays the cajon at the Haag Recital Hall lecture on Thursday, May 10. Photo credit: Jack Kan

Alcoser, Behrens, and Lomes are from San Diego, while Brito and Marquez are based in Tucson.

Band manager Marian Liebowitz said that the band has morphed over time and has now reached a new stage of maturity, with excellent chemistry between all players involved.

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Jarabe Mexicano plays at the Haag Recital Hall lecture on Thursday, May 10. Photo credit: Jack Kan

That chemistry was apparent as the band made the audience feel like an extended family.

Between playing songs from their set, they talked about the types of instruments and music that they play, and they answered questions from the audience.

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Jarabe Mexicano are all smiles on stage at the Haag Recital Hall lecture on Thursday, May 10. Photo credit: Jack Kan

This ranged from what it feels like to be stranded in the middle of two cultures as Chicanos/Pochos, to the influence of past African slavery in Mexico as it relates to percussion rhythms, to the regional variations in Mexican sones.

The band’s actual concert on Friday, May 11 at Marsee Auditorium was a more fully developed version of the same themes.

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Jarabe Mexicano performs at Marsee Auditorium on Friday, May 11. Photo credit: Jack Kan

Many audience members bought their ticket after attending the lecture, and they gave the band an enthusiastic reception.

The band performed a set of 24 songs, including “La Bikina”, “Serenata Huasteca”, “Bésame Mucho¨, ¨Hey Baby, ¿Qué Pasó?¨, ¨La Bamba¨, ¨Piel Canela¨, ¨Semillas¨ (their own militant version of Bob Marley´s ¨Get up, Stand Up”), “Suavecito”, and “La Malagueña.”

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José Martín Marquez and Gustavo Alcoser play off each other at Marsee Auditorium on Friday, May 11. Photo credit: Jack Kan
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Jarabe Mexicano members sign their CD ¨Semillas¨ after their concert at Marsee Auditorium on Friday, May 11. Photo credit: Jack Kan

They even performed an impromptu encore for those in attendance during their autograph session after the show.