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Jose Hernandez and his band, Mariachi Sol de Mexico, have...

August 10, 2002

Jose Hernandez and his band, Mariachi Sol de Mexico, have taken

mariachi music to a higher level, which Hernandez said, has given

those of Mexican descent a lot of pride.

Mariachi music began as music of the peasants in Mexico, Hernandez

said.

"Many people thought mariachi music was just party music," he

said. "But today when Mexican people see a group with classical

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trained musicians, it gives the music more dignity and respect. It

makes them feel a lot of pride and gives us as musicians a lot of

pride."

The group will perform Sunday at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank.

Under Hernandez' leadership, the band has created its own sound by

combining classical with pop, jazz, swing and Broadway tunes.

Made up of 14 instruments, there are three trumpets, seven

violins, vihuela -- a small rhythm guitar, regular acoustic guitar

and a Mexican harp. There is also a guitarron, an acoustic Mexican

bass string instrument that is plucked in octaves, which means the

musician plays two strings at the same time.

Hernandez is a fifth-generation mariachi musician. His five

brothers, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and

great-great-grandfather all followed the same profession.

"My main instrument is the trumpet, but I play violin and all the

other instruments and arrange all the music we play," he said.

The group has the distinction of being the first mariachi group to

be nominated for a Grammy, and was the first mariachi group to

perform in North Korea. They have five CDs that are available in the

popular record stores.

A ballet folklorico group will perform with the band in a tribute

to several different states of Mexico.

"The show will be a wonderful sharing of music and culture of the

Mexican people," he said.

The concert begins at 6:30 p.m. and gates open at 5:30 for

picnicking. Tickets are $5 and $3 for children 4 to 12 and seniors 60

and older. Parking is $2. The Starlight Bowl is at 1249 Lockheed View

Drive in Burbank. For more information, call 525-3721.

SPECIAL EVENTS

COLONY'S 'CHARLIE BROWN' OPENS THIS WEEKEND

The Colony Theatre Company opens its second production of its

"Season of Discovery" tonight with the Los Angeles premiere of the

revised Broadway version of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

Book, music and lyrics are by Clark Gesner with a revised book and

new songs by Andrew Lippa. It is directed by Ovation and Garland

Award-winner Todd Nielsen.

Barbara Beckley, producing director of the Colony Theatre, said

the company is thrilled to be doing the revised and re-imagined

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