A Denver attorney is passing his love of mariachi music on to Metro State University students one song at a time.
The music took the college students from the classroom to one of the biggest stages in Denver.
“You just feel, excitement when you play, when you sing, whatever you do with mariachi it’s love,” said Genesis Ruiz, member of Mariachi Los Correcaminos.
19-year-old Ruiz has played the violin since the third grade. She said the music is in her blood.
“Everybody has their own love, their own passion, their own culture. So might as well share what you love with the rest of the world," she said.
And that’s exactly what she and her fellow students from Mariachi Los Correcaminos did as they welcomed guests to the Boettcher Concert Hall for El Latir de Mexico – The Beat of Mexico.
Mariachi music comes from Mexico, although its influences stem from all over the world, just like the Hispanic community itself.
“I’ve never played mariachi music before. I am Hispanic. I’m Peruvian, I speak fluent Spanish but I wasn’t too familiar with Mexican culture or mariachi until I moved to Colorado about three years ago,” said student and mariachi member Benjamin Kellogg.
Kellogg joined the campus mariachi club which turned into a course when Professor Lorenzo Trujillo stepped in a year ago.
“But during the weekdays, I’m an attorney," he said.
Attorney by day, mariachi by night.
For Trujillo, sharing his love of Mexican music with his students also shares culture.
“And so we learn about values, the sense of family, the sense of community, the sense of togetherness. All that comes together in teaching the mariachi music," he said.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, the lessons go beyond the classroom.
“This country is a melting pot. We’ve got all sorts of people from all over the world. We’re just one of those influences. So it feels very honorable to be recognized and to have a whole month dedicated to that," said Kellogg.
“For me to be a Latino is to be a part of a very important piece of the tapestry of American culture," said Trujillo.
“It’s still all one passion, one love. It’s mariachi," said Ruiz.
At the end of the concert, with a packed house, the students went on stage with the Colorado Symphony for the final performance of the night.
“We’re blown away. When we heard that we were playing with the symphony we thought two things: Are we good enough and we don’t believe it," said Kellogg.
Mariachi Los Correcaminos proved to themselves and the audience they deserved the spotlight.
If you'd like to watch Metro State's mariachi group, they have a public performance on campus at the King Concert Hall at 4 o'clock on December 4th. Tickets are $5 and proceeds go to a scholarship fund.