José “Pepe”  Martínez

Music and Lyrics (Mexico)

HGO Appearances: To Cross the Face of the Moon (2011 tour to Théâtre du Châtelet, 2010 world premiere concert performance, for which he also performed the role of Chucho).

About the Artist:

José "Pepe" Martínez was born in Tecalitlán, Jalisco, Mexico, and joined his first mariachi band as a violinist at the age of twelve. He began writing music when he was nineteen years old, and in 1966 formed his own mariachi ensemble, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán. In 1975, he joined Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, and his work with that ensemble established him as a composer and arranger, marking a new era for Mariachi Vargas and creating a sonic style that has become synonymous with el mejor mariachi del mundo-the best mariachi in the world. "Somos Novios" and "El Cascabel" are two of the first songs Martínez arranged for his new group; original works such as "Violín Huapango," "Lluvia de cuerdas," "Mexicanísimo," and "Viva Veracruz" with its rapid violin ricochets-a Martínez signature-followed. Today, Martínez continues writing, learning, performing, and breaking new ground in the creation of mariachi music as the music director of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. Cruzar la Cara de la Luna was his first opera.
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José "Pepe" Martínez nació in Tecalitlán, Jalisco, México, y se unió a su primer mariachi como violinista a la edad de doce años. Comenzó a escribir música a los diecinueve años, y formó su propio mariachi en 1966, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán. En 1975, se integró al Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, y fue en ese grupo donde se consolidó como compositor y arreglista, marcando una nueva era para el Mariachi Vargas con un nuevo sonido que ha sido sinónimo de el mejor mariachi del mundo. "Somos novios"y "El cascabel"son dos de las primeras canciones que Martínez arregló para su nuevo grupo; piezas como "Violín Huapango," "Lluvia de cuerdas," "Mexicanísimo" y "Viva Veracruz," con rápidos acentos de violines-el sello de Martínez-siguieron. Hoy en día, Martínez continúa escribiendo, aprendiendo, presentándose y abriendo camino en la creación de música de mariachi como director musical del conjunto. Cruzar la Cara de la Luna es su primer ópera.