We begin with a brief history of the Mariachi tradition, addressing questions such as: What is the tradition? Why is dance part of the tradition? Most importantly, where does Tucson fit into the mariachi tradition? The majority of the presentation will focus on the Tucson International Mariachi Conference (TIMC), a non-profit entity of La Frontera Arizona. We’ll discuss how the Conference has evolved over the years and the impact it’s had at the local, national and international levels, including on thousands, perhaps millions, of students. The Conference began downtown and with its return to downtown in 2021, and in the context of a new, highly developed and vibrant downtown environment, there’s an opportunity to partner with various organizations, such as the Rotary Club of Tucson, Rio Nuevo, City of Tucson, and the business community, to develop an annual week-long mariachi festival that can help brand Tucson, much like the Riverwalk has branded San Antonio. Indeed, Mariachi can be integrated into all other Tucson cultural and athletic events throughout the year. The presentation will conclude with a video on the Conference and a Q&A session with Drs. Ranieri and Fernández and Dan Buckley.
Celestino Fernandez ~ Biography
Dr. Celestino Fernández served as Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona for 39 years (retired July 2015), where he also served in several administrative positions, including as Vice President for Academic Outreach and International Affairs. He taught courses and conducted research on various topics pertaining to culture, including happiness and Mexican music. He has published over 50 articles and book chapters. Dr. Fernández continues to consult and lecture throughout the world. He completed both the M.A. and Ph.D. at Stanford University.  For 35 years, Dr. Fernández served on the Board of the Tucson International Mariachi Conference and now serves on the Board of La Frontera Arizona.