Fodor’s Travel — Female Mariachi Bands of San Antonio, Texas

This once male-dominated musical genre is now led by female mariachi bands that are blazing new trails in San Antonio, Texas; April 2018

The Texas city of San Antonio has a rich history and culture, with Native American, European, and Mexican influences. With this multi-cultural heritage, San Antonio has created a vibrant food, art, and music traditions.

One of the most enduring and beloved of these traditions is that of the mariachi bands. Originating in Jalisco, Mexico in the 18th century, mariachi bands are traditionally comprised of guitars, violins, and trumpets that harmonize together, usually accompanied by lively vocals. They’re also known by their trademark traje de charrooutfits, adapted from Spanish cowboy garments and comprised of a heavily ornamented jacket and pants with a matching tie and sash.

Mariachi music is ubiquitous today throughout Mexico and Texas; since the 1920s and 30s, people would gather in San Antonio’s La Plaza del Zacate to hear famous musicians such as Rocha and Martínez. By the 1970s, mariachi music was as steeped in San Antonio’s culture as it was in Mexico. Recently, the Academy Award-winning animated film Coco brought mariachi and Mexican music into the limelight on a global scale.

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