Mariachi at the Count Basie
Ocean Academy went on another wonderful trip to the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. This time, students got to experience Mariachi Music. The genre and style of Mariachi music developed in the city of Jalisco, Mexico during the 19th century and has major influences from Africa and Europe. We got to see and experience the music live, and even got to learn about some interesting musical instruments that many of us were not familiar with, such as the Vihuela and the Guitarrón. Featured there, was Mariachi Los Camperos, a mariachi group widely recognized for making this music popular in the United States. The 12 piece ensemble played many familiar songs while energetic, professional dancers graced the stage and wowed us with traditional Mexican dance. It was a packed crowd and the students and staff could be seen singing and dancing to the music. Everyone had a great time and we look forward to the next presentation at this historic theater.
Did You Know: Mariachi Los Camperos have been featured in various films including “Jerry Maguire” and “Mi Familia”.
Back at school, students tried their hand at dancing to some Mariachi Music. First, students took part in a lesson that reinforced some of the things they learned at the Count Basie Theater as well as a short history lesson on why Cinco de Mayo is an important date in Mexican history. As students learned that music and dance are important elements in Mexican celebrations, students then learned the basic steps of the Mexican Hat Dance, a dance that goes along with Mariachi Music. Students went up to the front of the classroom and had a lot of fun cutting a rug!