Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference -

Fall brings with it a whole new set of possibilities in the Mesilla Valley. The temperatures descend out of the broiling heat into a crisp and refreshing coolness. Music begins to fill the air once more. One of the main musical events of Fall, here in the valley, is the Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference, which returns to celebrate its 30th year, November 8 – 11, 2023. This year’s theme is Viva La Mujer!

The Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference is a world-renowned event that focuses on education and entertainment. Established in 1994, with an initial participation of 239 students, the conference has grown to attract students from Mexico, and as far away as German and Japan. The goal has always been to bring together educational aspects of traditional Mariachi music and Folkloric dance with performing opportunities, while also reconnecting youth and families with their culture.

Over 14,000 students of all ages have now attended the annual four-day Conference, with three days of educational workshops in Mariachi music, voice, and folkloric dance, culminating in a formal concert at the Pan American Center. The workshops offer a quality educational experience through a unique cultural arts program, while the concert gives students the opportunity to show what they have learned.

Talented Mariachi groups, vocalists, and Folkloric Dancers attending the workshops audition for the opportunity to perform at the popular Spectacular Concert held during the conference. Students are judged by an independent committee by criteria, including music and dance skills, appearance, level of ability, and group performance skills.


One of the biggest draws of the weekend is the Spectacular Concert, a performance of world-famous vocalists, along with world-renowned mariachi groups, Saturday, November 11, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. This year’s special guests include Guadalajara’s world famous musical group Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán, and Walt Disney World’s international performance group Mariachi Cobre. The Spectacular Concert combines over 500 workshop students in performance with these world-class musicians and dancers during the staged opening numbers.

All proceeds from the annual event support various programs under the New Mexico Advocates for the Arts that improve the quality of life and promote cultural arts education across southern New Mexico. To find out more about the Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference, and the Spectacular Concert, visit the website.

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