Photo credit: David Jimenez

The Ford Amphitheater could not end  it’s summer season  any stronger.  It was  a stunning performance delivered by a powerful team of  musicians and dancers gathered to honor the legacy and wealth of music of Pepe Martinez, the  late director of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.  The stage was set beautifully , designed by Mission Hills artist Lalo Garcia, there was a large constructed archway that represented  the entry way found in the village of Tecalitlan, Mexico, the birthplace of Mariachi Vargas. 

A  video screen was tucked creatively inside the archway that served to show timeless photos and video of Pepe Martinez making his words and performance part of his own homage.   

It was a family affair that clearly  came from love.  

Colibri Entertainment under the direction of musician Susie Garcia along with her newly wed husband Pepe Martinez Jr., (son of the Pepe Martinez)  put on a superb musical performance.  Direction for the show came from another member of the family, Pepe Martinez’ daughter, Rosario Martinez who sewed the pieces together to create magic on stage with Ballet Folklorico Ollin.

Mariachi Vargas has long been credited for being the very best Mariachi group on both sides of the border. 

The  archived video from  Pepe Martinez  allowed the audience to hear the history directly from the “master musician” that gave the audience additional understanding for the great discipline for the art form.

This weekend’s performance at the Ford however, proved there is much more to come from the expanding Martinez clan.   His son Pepe Jr. now living in Los Angeles has formed a new group, that is already being compared to the great musicianship offered for years by Mariachi Vargas.

Mariachi Ángeles de Pepe Martínez Jr. along with performance by the iconic Steeven Sandoval, previously “the voice” of Mariachi Vargas and Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán elevated the show.

This was an example that when great musicians are gathered, it allows all of the artists to rise up to demonstrate their talent fully.

The strong female voices in the all female Mariachi group Las Colibrí brought the house down and  the beautifully costumed dancers that filled the stage from Ballet Folklorico Ollin soared across the stage.

This strong team together is a power house of talent that is well worth following.  This show is deserving of a tour across the United States and Mexico. Bravo!  The great work of Pepe Martinez continues and lives on.