John C. Contreras, Mariachi Musician, Educator & Director

John C. Contreras, Mariachi Musician, Educator & Director. Tucson, AZ  |  2022

John Conteras is a mariachi musician and has served as the director of the award-winning Mariachi Aztlán de Pueblo High School for the past 20 years. Mariachi music comes from a mestizaje (mixture) of Indigenous roots, Spanish instruments, and West African rhythms. The artform has been an integral part of John’s life since age three, when his father taught him to play the guitar. He sought out after-school mariachi programs and attended the Tucson International Mariachi Conference, where he was mentored by the groups Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán and Mariachi Cobre. Later, he studied with Maestro Heriberto Molina, and also began to record his own work. John will apprentice Vicente Miranda Leon, Jr., teaching him how to direct and manage a full Mariachi ensemble, while passing along deeper knowledge of the origins of the art form.

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