If you’re involved in the world of Mariachi, weather you are a student, teacher, merchant, or professional musician, you more than likely already know San Antonio’s Mariachi Queen. Her name is Cynthia Muñoz, producer of the “Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza”, the largest and longest-running mariachi music festival in Texas and one of the most important events of its kind in the world.
Cynthia’s passion for Mariachi ignited during a mass at the Mission San Jose here in San Antonio, where to this date you can hear a mariachi perform every Sunday at noon. Immediately after hearing the music, she told her mother she wanted to play in a mariachi. She went on to play mariachi through out her early years.
Her professional career started as a young public relations executive for the national Hispanic-market advertising agency of Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates. At the age of 26, she founded “Muñoz Public Relations”, a firm that focuses on promoting Mariachi music and shines a positive light on Hispanic culture.
In 1995, Cynthia founded the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. Today, the Extravaganza hosts some of the most competitive middle school and high school mariachi competitions in the world. The judges of the competition are members of the “Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan”, literally the best mariachi in the world. The 3 day festival closes out with a concert attended by thousands of mariachi fans, in which the winners of the competitions get to open up for Mariachi Vargas.
The team behind this monstrous production is quite small. Made up Sandra Guevara (Cynthia’s sister), Debra Torres, and Cynthia herself, these mariacheras have already started preparations for the 25th anniversary of the festival.