Juan Manuel Cortez, Outstanding Artist Outreach Project Artist
We recently had the opportunity to visit Juan Manuel Cortez's AOP program in San Juan Capistrano, where he is teaching mariachi music to Latino students of all ages. Here are some photos of the festive rehearsal, which sounded great!
Juan is working with the Capistrano Community Mariachi Program (CCMP), a non-profit organization in San Juan Capistrano, to implement his Capistrano Mariachi Enrichment Project. He's working with over 100 Latino students in the CCMP who are between the ages of 5 and 18, building their musical skills and teaching them about the roots of mariachi. Many of Juan’s students are living below the poverty line, and his instruction offers a positive learning environment, as well as an opportunity for the children to connect with their families and cultural heritage.
Juan’s decades of experience in the world of mariachi music date back to the 1970s, when as a teenager he took classes at the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica in Mexico City. Since then, he has played in numerous orchestras, led workshops in several states, and taught at high schools and colleges across the United States.