About the Music We Play
Mariachi Las Olas is dedicated to preserving Mariachi heritage in Santa Barbara. We have an extensive and diverse repertoire out of the vast canon of mariachi music. The content of each event,whether baptism, wedding, wedding rehearsal dinner, Quinceañera, funeral, memorial service, birthday celebration, serenata, determines the tone for our music sets. Mariachi Las Olas is also available for mariachi masses (complete) (Misa Pan-Americana: Mariachi Mass) and bi-lingual mass services available upon requests.
We have played for a diverse clientele, in a variety of events and locations, including traditional and non-traditional weddings, masses, anniversaries, birthdays, parties, public performances and functions and corporate events.
Professional sound available upon request.
We play rancheras, sones, boleros, huapangos, and are open to special requests, including American popular music.
“Traditional” mariachi music is the mainstay of our set lists. To elaborate a little more on the main stay of our set list which is largely Rancheras, Sones, and Boleros, and Huapangos following are a few examples of specific songs.
Rancheras: Mexican pastoral music, usually heartfelt in lyrical nature. Examples include Cielito Lindo and Volver.
Sones: Are what mariachi is predominantly known for. They are dance songs. A few examples are El Carretero, El Son de La Negra, and Son de Los Aguacates.
Boleros: A cuban based genre that Mariachi has adapted into the development of their genre as well. Boleros are often harmonically more complex than say a Ranchera. A great example of a popular Bolero is Sabor a Mi which is possibly one of our most requested pieces. Another great example of a popular bolero is Besame Mucho.
Huapangos: Mexican folk and dance style and music style, part of the Son Huasteco genre The fast, rhythmic dance is usually performed by couples. A few examples are La Cigarra, Serenata Huasteca, and El Querreque.
History of Mariachi Las Olas
Mariachi Integral started as a community-based Mariachi in Isla Vista, which was formed to a space for students to learn about traditional mariachi music and perhaps play the traditional music that they’ve already been familiarized with. Eventually, Mariachi Intregal began giving frequent community-based performances, for example through the Creative Children’s Project and the UCSB World Music Concert Series, to name a couple.
Since then the Mariachi has developed into a more of a working Mariachi with a base of multi-generational, multi-cultural members of the Mariachi consisting of men and women playing different of instruments, with a more sophisticated repertoire. Mariachi Intregal still exists as a community group, and Mariachi Las Olas is a group exclusive to musicians that can play at the professional level.
Juan Zaragoza | Founder, Director, Guitarrón, Guitar
Juan Zaragoza is the founding member and musical director of Mariachi Las Olas de Santa Barbara. He’s been a key player in starting up many music programs such as SONando Santa Barbara, Mariachi Intregal, Guitar Works and Violin Works, and was honored by the Santa Barbara Independent in their 2007 Local Hero edition for the work he has done promoting music and cultural awareness.
Other active members include Ann Hefferman (violin), Juan Mora (accordian), Angel Lara (trumpet), Armando Figueroa (vihuela), and Luis and Gus Aguilera (vihuela, guitar and trumpet).
Depending on your needs we can deliver anything from a full mariachi band to a small duo or trio.