Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or


November 17, 2011
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.




Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011 at 4 p.m. 


FAIRFAX, Va., Nov. 17, 2011– “A festival of sound and color.” (Capital Times) Since its inception nearly 50 years ago, this Grammy Award-winning ensemble has emerged as a driving force of the mariachi tradition worldwide. This Christmas season, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano appears for the first time at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011 at 4 p.m., bringing a festive and joyful holiday performance titled “Fiesta Navidad” that celebrates and honors the cultural traditions of Mexico. This performance is Family Friendly: tickets are half price for youth through grade 12 when accompanied by an adult. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

Mariachi music as we know it today was developed in western Mexico in the 19th century, but its roots date back to the early 16th century when Spanish colonists introduced European instruments such as horns, harps, vihuelas (a five-string guitar) and violins to the natives. African music was also brought to the natives through African slaves, and that is also thought to have an influence on the musical form. In the 19th century, mariachis wore peasant garb and had little interest in dressing alike, until the Mexican Revolution in 1910, when mariachi music became recognized throughout Mexico as a symbol of nationalism and musicians began wearing uniforms of embroidered waist-length jackets, tight-fitting wool pants, riding boots and sombreros. In 1950s and 1960s, mariachi music became popular in America after a number of organized mariachi groups immigrated to Los Angeles. Today, mariachi bands are made up of musicians playing violin, trumpet, guitar, vihuela, guitarrón (a fretless six-string bass guitar) and sometimes harps. Mariachi bands frequently perform at celebrations such as weddings, baptisms, quinceañeras and other festive occasions.

Mariachi Los Camperos is led by Natividad “Nati” Cano, who was born in 1933 into a mariachi family. Following in his family’s footsteps, his career took him first to nearby Guadalajara, Mexico and then to Los Angeles, where he and his band helped introduce mariachi music to American audiences. In December 2006, Cano’s musical contribution to America was recognized when he became one of the first artists nationwide to win a USA Fellowship from United States Artists. Cano was one of only five musicians to be named a USA Fellow in the inaugural year.

Los Camperos employs the finest musicians from Mexico and the United States and has performed worldwide. The ensemble was one of four mariachi bands to be featured on Linda Ronstadt’s 1987 album, “Canciones de Mi Padre” (Songs of My Father), as well as 1991’s “Mas Canciones,” which won a Grammy Award. This talented group has recorded nine critically acclaimed albums, including four in the past 10 years with D.C.-based Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. The ensemble’s 2008 album “Amor, Dolor y Lagrimas” earned a Grammy Award and last year Smithsonian Folkways released the band’s first instructional DVD “The Sounds of Mariachi: Lessons in Mariachi Performance.” In 2008, the ensemble was also featured on the silver screen in the “Sex and the City” movie. In 2010 and 2011, Los Camperos toured with a program titled “Viva Mexico,” in celebration of Mexico’s bicentennial and the 50th anniversary of Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano. 


Tickets for MARIACHI LOS CAMPEROS DE NATI CANO are $23 $38, $46. Family Friendly: youth through grade 12, half price when accompanied by an adult. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit


About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.


About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.