Photos Courtesy of Lalo Garcia

Long time friends and fellow musicians and artists  have come together to pay tribute to Mariachi Los Camperos  founder Natividad “Nati” Cano.  Cano died late last year.  “He would have been 84 years old this week,” said Javier Verdin, of Ballet Folklorico Ollin.  “This event is meaningful for all of us and it will be the first time in many years that our dance troupe will share the stage with the full Los Camperos ensemble.”   Ollin based in Panorama City has been rehearsing in conjunction with many other local artists who will help to tell the life story and contribution that Cano made to elevate the Mariachi musician.

Cano had strong ties to the City of San Fernando.  He with other master musicians from his mariachi group served as mentors and teachers to young musicians in the San Fernando Mariachi Master Apprentice Program. Students in the program are taught by members of Los Comperos.

Local artist Lalo Garcia, who also knew and worked with Cano for many years has painted the backdrops that will help to set the stage. “This production means a lot to us,” [Lalo] Garcia said.  “It’s our shared past that we were part of in encouraging and respecting Mexican culture, music and the arts.”

“Nati was buried this past October, said Susie Garcia of Colibri Entertainment who is producing the show, “but his spirit and story will continue to inspire anyone who has ever had a dream. Now that mariachi

music is heard everywhere it’s hard to imagine a time when it was next to unknown in the U.S.” Garcia said while attending UCLA, she met Nati Cano for the first time and began to study under Jesús “Chuy”

Guzman. Inspired by Cano and her first mariachi teacher, Laura Garciacano Sobrino, two prominent figures in mariachi music, Garcia went on to help pioneer one of the first modern female run and directed mariachi ensembles in Los

Angeles, Mariachi Divas and then later formed another female mariachi group, Las Colibri.

Sobrino also passed away earlier this year. The passing of both Cano and Sobrino has been a huge loss for the mariachi world. “This production and tribute will be an opportunity for the public and the mariachi community to pay their respects.”

 Cano is  credited with making mariachi music part of American culture. “Cano contributed to the advancement of both men and women in music, his collaboration with Linda Ronstadt and he single handedly educated the world through his love for music and tradition through his establishment of L.A.’s La Fonda Restaurant and he created a popular touring show Sonidos De Mariachi that performed across the country,” noted [Susie] Garcia.

“This production will tell his story through music and dance and share with the audience the story of how that tradition came from Mexico to Los Angeles and how it gained tremendous popularity through the evolution and advancement of Mariachi Los Camperos over 50 years,” Garcia said.  Nati Cano’s  beginnings in Mexico as a child will be  portrayed by the young student musicians from San Fernando’s  Mariachi Master Apprentice Program.

Mundo Fox anchor Jose Armándo Ronstadt will lead us through a night of storytelling, music, dance and nostalgia with Mariachi Los Camperos, Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime

Cuéllar, Las Colibrí, Mónica Treviño, Ballet Folklorico Ollín and Folklor Pasión Mexicana. Nati Cano was well known for his generosity and his passion to share his love for mariachi through performance and education. Mariachi Los Charritos, a youth ensemble from Las Vegas will be giving a pre-concert performance in the plaza to welcome guests.

Miracles Are Possible

In the spirit of Nati Cano and to demonstrate that miracles are possible and dreams do come true, Charro Tony Muñoz who was an integral part of Nati’s touring show “Sonidos del Mariachi” will be returning to the stage after suffering a roping accident over 6 years ago that left him in a coma for over 5 months, little chance to live, and a diagnosis that he would never walk again. Defying all odds, and after 12 brain surgeries later, Tony will take the stage to pay tribute to the man that he respects and admires by offering his own tribute performance.

¡Viva La Tradición! is a live music series created by Colibrí Entertainment, a company founded by Executive and Artistic Director Susie Garcia in 2009. The series seeks to educate audiences through performances of traditional Mexican music and engage them in culturally relevant conversations about Latino culture in Los Angeles and beyond. As the musical director of an all-female ensemble, Las Colibrí, Susie Garcia has built her career on the empowerment of women through Mexican music.

The San Gabriel Mission Playhouse is located at 320 S. Mission Dr San Gabriel (626) 308-2865 For any ticket inquiries or to purchase Group and/or Student Tickets please call:

Colibrí Entertainment (626) 715-1113 or Email For more information on Colibri Entertainment please log on to: