Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán

The 2016 San Diego International Mariachi Summit, bringing together some of the brightest performers in the genre, is scheduled to begin Thursday evening.

The two-time Grammy winning Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea will open the festival with a performance at 7 p.m. at Southwestern College. The troupe will celebrate the release of their new CD — “Tributo a Joan Sebastian y Rigoberto Alfaro.”

Tickets are $20 and available on the website of the summit organizer, the Mariachi Scholarship Foundation, at The website also includes a full schedule.

Highlights include a Friday night conversation with mariachi legend Ruben Fuentes, 90, the longtime director of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan. His group, considered the greatest of the mariachi bands, will headline a joint performance on Sunday with the San Diego Symphony at Embarcadero Marina Park South. Fuentes will speak again on Monday in Tijuana.

That concert, which will celebrate the foundation’s 20th anniversary, will also include the San Diego-based Mariachi Champana Nevin performing their “Concerto for Mariachi” and Orchestra “Pasion Mexicana.”

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.