Slap-bang in the middle of the country, Guadalajara is at the center of Mexico in more than just the geographical sense. The country’s second city by population, Guadalajara is considered by most to be Mexico’s cultural engine-room. Amongst others, it is credited with adding tequila, the broad-rimmed sombrero, and charreadas (rodeos) to the nation’s identity.
But most important of all, Guadalajara is considered home to mariachi music. Culturally unique to Mexico, mariachi captures the essence of its people. Inspired by the country’s colonial struggle, mariachi is emblematic of the cultural evolution that has swept the nation over the last century and a half.
The mariachi ensemble typically consists of violins, trumpets, a classical guitar, a vihuela (a high-pitched guitar) and a guitarrón (a large acoustic bass guitar). Often dressed in distinctive charro suits (silver studded outfits) and wide-brimmed hats, mariachi bands play passionate songs that speak of machismo, love, betrayal, revolution and death.
The best place to experience mariachi in Guadalajara is the El Parián garden complex in Tlaquepaque. There, while sat at one of the many small cantinas, you can soak up the serenades of emotional mariachis along with your beer. Get into the swing of things with our mariachi playlist.
1. José Alfredo Jiménez – El Rey
2. Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán – El son de la negra
3. Jorge Negrete – La Adelita
4. Pedro Infante – Cien años
5. Vicente Fernández – Otra Vez
6. Antonio Aguilar – Juan Charrasqueado
7. Pepe Aguilar – Por Mujeres Como Tu
8. Pedro Fernández – El Jinete
9. Alejandro Fernández – Como Quien Pierde Una Estrella
10. Chayito Valdez – Besos Y Copas
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…