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You Get What You Pay For!

mariachi alegre de tucson az 2013Like any profession, Mariachi Alegre do Tucson is a business. We have bills to pay and families to feed, just like anyone else. This is why haggling can be damaging to our business. This is not to say we overcharge or anything, we just know what our time and quality is worth. Our rates for your entertainment are not extreme and we promise we are not trying to rip you off. Just remember, if you want quality you have to pay for it.

People often ask questions like “Why can’t you play for free?” Or “Are you sure you can’t do it for $40 less?” Our rates have increased, but that is partly due to inflation. Thirty years ago we charged a base rate of $160, but with the inflation of the dollar as well as the prices for gas, food, materials, instruments, and more, we had no choice but to raise our prices a little. For a one hour performance our mariachi are making $50 per member. This is includes the half-hour or more for preparation (not counting rehearsal of our repertoire and maintaining instruments, clothing, etc) and at least half an hour for travel. This is why we charge extra for out of town gigs to account for the extra travel time and cost. If you are in town, we usually do not charge for travel, so the gas and travel time are coming out of our wallets.

In the beginning we donated our time to a Catholic Church for 10 years, free of charge. This helped us gain a reputation for our quality and kindness. Periodically we will play certain functions (like carnivals, church fiestas, and civic functions) for more exposure and publicity, but with our experience it only makes sense for us to take a step back to let new groups have their chance to gain some notoriety performing for little to no money. Asking anyone to perform a service free (especially when it’s their career) can be harmful. Would you ask a doctor to perform a surgery for free? Would you do your job for free regularly? Would you ask your grocery clerk for a free cart of groceries—and mean it? Think about that the next time you try to haggle for free entertainment.Capture

What makes us different from juvenile groups? Why are we worth the payment we are asking? Here’s why!

  1. Experience: Our extensive repertoire coupled with our professional quality means you are always getting your money’s worth. Our performers can read a crowd and are willing to take photos, participate closely with guest, and know when to stand-off.
  2. Cheaper isn’t always better: If you are paying less for a Mariachi group, they may take advantage of that and take extra breaks, stop in the middle of the agreed upon performance time to tune, or try to slack off and eat the food and drink the beverages for your guests (regardless of previous instructions). The mentality for this thinking is “I’m not getting paid what I’m worth, so I’ll do what I think is worth the pay.”
  3. Punctuality: For 40 years we have taken pride in our quality as well as punctuality. When the entertainment is late the entire party suffers! If we aren’t early, we’re late!
  4. Time Killing: This concept can ruin a party. We know how to make sure the client gets their money’s worth from us and our entire performance is meaningful and heartfelt. We aim to please.
  5. Good business practices: We make a concerted effort to answer all calls, voice mails, and messages regarding bookings. We follow-up on inquiries for potential business, and we will contact clients to offer our thanks and gratitude for being hired. We understand that a little bit goes a long way and we want you to feel like friends and family. We are professional and respectful to everyone.

After reading this, I’m sure you are a little more interested in hiring us. Contact George Mejarano for more information, booking inquiries, or to let us know a performance was not to your expectations. We will always try to make it right so you leave satisfied with our services. Our Mariachi perform for various events, including: birthdays, anniversaries, quinceneras, serenatas, weddings, and funerals. Great entertainment comes at a price, but don’t fall victim of paying the price of a terrible performance!

 

 

 
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Mariachi Alegre de Tucson Reviews!

On Weddingwire.com, Mariachi Alegre de Tucson has received an average of 5.0/5.0 stars! The lowest scoring in any section was a 4.5, while still maintaining a 4.9 average for that customer. WeddingWire even awarded us the Couples Choice Award for 2013. Other sites boast high reviews for our groups as well, often with individual scored of 5/5 stars! One reviewer even suggested that they wouldn’t mind having our group follow them around in the grocery store performing! There are not enough opportunities for a Mariachi group for some people.

CaptureOne of the biggest compliments clients have given to our Mariachi group is the song selection. Clients love our ability to play songs requested by guests due to our huge repertoire. One client even marveled at our ability to learn a specific song not in our collection (when given due notice). Across the board the vocal abilities and general music quality is complimented in reviews.

Another major complimented area of our expertise is the affordability. Various clients stated our low cost coupled with high professionalism. We strive for professionalism alongside our punctuality and highly skilled musicians. Hiring us means you will not blow your budget on the best Mariachi group around. You’ll get the best for the best price.

Many reviews state how well our Mariachi kept parties going, livened up the event, and made all guests happy. Our performers are enthusiastic, funny, and will often times engage with guests, making it fun for everyone. When the band is part of the party, everyone feels more connected, guests feel as if they are part of the music and the music is part of the party. Weddings are boring when the music is just in the background. With our Mariachi, your party will be remembered by every guest for years to come due to the dedication of our performers and their genuine concern for the wellbeing and happiness of every guest. Guest cannot help but dance and have fun when our Mariachi is around!

In many of the reviews, it is stated that the clients would love to rehire Mariachi Alegre de Tucson and that many guests requested the information of our group to hire them in the future.

Weddings are wonderful for Mariachi performances, but that is by no means the only time to hire them. Many reviews are for random parties, weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays! Our involvement with guests and our vast array of songs helps us keep our clients happy and the party rocking! Call us today for all of your celebration entertainment needs to make sure everyone has a wonderful time! Hurry, we can sometimes to last minute gigs, but if you want to guarantee our attendance, time is of the essence.

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Dia de los Muertos: The Day of the Dead

Halloween for Americans is fast approaching. Dia de los Muertos is observed around the same time and is often compared to Halloween and related holidays. This day is a much bigger deal in Mexico than Halloween is in the States. The deep tradition include building private alters to honor the deceased with intricate designs of sugar skulls, marigolds, and the placement of personal possessions of the deceased. The Latin-American custom combines ancient Aztec rituals with Catholicism (from the Spanish invasions).

Unlike holidays relating to death throughout much of the Western World, Dia de los Muertos is truly a celebration. Those celebrating are positive that the deceased would view mourning or sadness as an insult because life should be celebrated since death is just a part of life so it is nothing to be upset about. The dead are considered part of the community during the celebration of Dia de los Muertos. It is thought that the loved ones who have passed are just as present as those alive walking down the streets and they have awakened from their eternal sleep once more to share the experience with their loved ones. Parades are held and participants wear bright colors and intricate face paintings. Flowers are worn and involved in alters with decorations sitting alongside skull-painted faces and statuettes of happy, dancing, singing skeletons. Skeletons and skull decorations (known as calacas and Calaveras) are found everywhere during the celebration and are often seen enjoying life! They sing and dance and smile. It is not a somber occasion—it’s a celebration of the lives of those who have passed on. More cultures need to adopt this view on death.

In the US, some elements of the Dia de los Muertos celebration are found in popular culture. Many people are getting sugar skull tattoos or they are decorating things in their home with sugar skulls and dressing up as a calacas or calavera for Halloween.

Mariachi is involved in Dia de los Muertos just like they would be for any other celebration and holiday. Sometimes spun-sugar mariachi musicians (in skeleton form) are found as treats during the holiday— representing the need to balance death with happiness. Native dancers and performers participate in the celebrations on this day, meaning it’s yet another opportunity to hire Mariachi performers to make the day one to remember. Musicians perform at cemeteries, parades, and festivals throughout this holiday so who better than a traditional Mariachi?

If you’re looking for a way to honor the dead, or a way to celebrate life and living, contact Mariachi Alegre De Tucson today. Hurry, because Dia de los Muertos will be here before you know it! We also do quinceneras, weddings, funerals, and more.

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Mariachi Clothing and Popularity (History Pt 2)

Since the 1930’s, the Mariachi outfits consisted of a short cut jacket and wool boot-cut pants to allow the wearer to don riding boots. Often the outfit is black with white or gold trim, but can be seen with red coats or pants as well as other various colors. This ensemble is called a traje de charro. Previous outfits were called calzones de manta and huaraches. These outfits were white cotton pants and shirts with leather sandals. This was meant to resemble and represent the clothing lowest class in Jaliso wore.

  • An example of a traje de charro

    Traje: The custom tailored suit worn by Mariachi members.

  • Plata: This is the silver or gold plated adornments throughout the coat and the pants or skirt of the outfit.
  • Greca: Greca is another style of adornment. It entails fancy stitching.

The colors of traje de charro outfits today vary, but Mariachi Allegra ensures the authenticity of the outfits by having them custom made in Mexico.

Some examples of greca patterns.

Mariachi was not always as popular as it is today. Due to this style being the music of the country people, they were not considered professional until the 1930’s and the slight variances in styles stayed in their respective regions. Before the 1930’s a Mariachi was asked to play a presidential inauguration in Mexico City and after that, the Mariachi was considered significantly more professional.

The Mariaci Vargas became one of the most famous and trail blazing Mariachi thanks to Silvestre Vargas (the successor of his father) beginning in 1928. He began a type of standardization of Mariachi. He made sure all of the performers could read sheet music and composed many sones. Due to this standardization and increased professionalism Mariachi Vargas began performing for radio and film with added instruments and a set of general guidelines to follow, Mariachi Vargas helped bring Mariachi to the spotlight.

Today and in the earlier days, Mariachi plays at various occasions. For instances of courtship, Mariachi will play serenatas (translation: serenade) in situations where a young male seeks the affection of a young female but they are not allowed to see one another. In this circumstance, the male will hire Mariachi to send a message of love to his sweetheart. On days of celebrations multiple Mariachis will be placed throughout the streets, often below windows of citizens the celebration involves, to play music.

In the Mexican tradition, Marichi is heavily involved in the Roman Catholic Church Mass service. A Mariachi folk mass (Misa Panamericana) is sung in Spanish and uses traditional Mariachi instruments to interpret the service. This idea began in 1966 by the Canadian priest Father Juan Marco Leclerc and it took off and is now very common throughout the US and Mexico.

Other events Mariachi plays at include: baptisms, weddings, quinceaneras, funerals, and patriotic holidays.

Call Mariachi Allegra de Tucson today to schedule a wonderful Marichi for your celebratory needs! Summer is the perfect time to get this historic and beautiful sounding group to play for your parties and celebrations! No event is too big or too small for us to make it memorable!

 
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How Did Mariachi Come To Be? (History Pt 1)

The Christian influence upon Mexico changed the music traditions. Cortes and the Christians brought stringed instruments, horns, and woodwinds. With this influence, the mestizo musicians began using the new instruments as well as making their own, leading to theatrical Spanish orchestra between the 16th and 18th centuries which consisted of 2 violins, a hard, and guitars.

Many people argue that the word mariachi derives from the French word for marriage. This theory states that the Mexican emperor Maximillian brought with him the French language. Because Mariachi bands often play at weddings, many feel this is an accurate word-history, however, linguists have found evidence of the word mariachi being in use well before the French invasions. It is more likely the word derives from the name of the type of wood used to make the dance platforms used when the bands perform.

Mariachi as it is known today goes back to the 18th. Similar styles of groups formed in Huasteca and Veracruz, but it is thought that the Mariachi began in Jalisco. In Cocula (a town in Jalisco), the instruments were the vihuela, violins, and a guitar.

Mariachi music, or “sones,” are mixes of traditional Spanish, Mexican, and African music.

Style (Location)                                                            Son
Son Jalisciense(Jalisco)                                              La Negra
Son jarocho/veracruzano
(Gulf of Veracruz)        La Bamba
Son huasteco/huapango (Northeast Mexico)        La Malagueñ a

Note: El Gusto and some other sones are found throughout different regions, suggesting a common ancestor, much like with language.

The Mariachi culture has created many unusual instruments with the Christian influences. Below are some examples of instruments they used alongside the familiar guitars, harps, and trumpets. All of the instruments together provide a wide variety of sounds with high and low tones and changes in rhythm.

  • Vihuela- very similar to a lute and guitar and used for rhythm.
  • Guitarró- a bass guitar of sorts.
  • Mexican folk harp- used for additional bass lines along with being utilized for the melody.

Mariachi is meant to be danced to! You can hardly stand still while listening to this fantastic music. There are two main styles of mariachi dancing you are probably familiar with. Zapateado resembles the Irish Riverdance style, with driving heels of boots into the platform at high speeds to the rhythm of the music. This, unfortunately, will destroy the platforms due to the high impact and forceful pounding. The style called huapango will remind you of a line dance mixed with riverdance. Much like a line dance, partners line up in rows but like riverdance, the only part of their bodies that move are below the waist. The dancers’ torsos are so still and balanced that items are often placed on their heads while they dance to show the muscle control and balance this takes. The jarabe style of dance and music is a combination of different music and performance. From this style we get the best known dance related to mariachi- The Mexican Hat Dance! Based in Guadalajara, it is now considered the official dance of Mexico. Overall, the sones depict the farming cultural life of Mexico and therefore the dance moves and music tell those stories.

Next week we will discuss the history of mariachi group clothing and some important dates throughout the history of mariachi.

 

 

 
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Mariachi: Not just for Quinceañeras anymore!

mariachi-band-tucson-arizonaPicture a Mariachi band in your head. Close your eyes and let your brain recreate the scene where you first saw one perform. It was a joyous event with friends and family laughing and having a great time, I bet. This is what we strive for at Mariachi Alegre de Tucson. Our bands are guaranteed to satisfy your every musical needs for your events.

A Mexican tradition since the 19th century, Mariachi groups represent the celebration of life, change, and masculinity. The themes of their music range from history, love, and even death, meaning there is no event a Mariachi band cannot be asked to perform. Weddings and parties are obviously a cause for celebration, but that does not mean the end of the wonderful life of a loved one should not receive the same treatment. This style of music represents the pivotal points in life and moments of major change, so let the parties begin!

In many cultures, death of a loved one becomes solemn and somber. Chances are, our loved ones would rather be remembered beautifully, than be memorialized through the sadness of a traditional funeral. The celebration of life is just as important—if not more so—than the acknowledgement of their passing. Too many of us focus on churches and dressing in black when thinking about death when we should be keeping those who have passed in our hearts and memories, wishing them luck in a better place.

Mariachi music is a great way to bring and keep people together. In Mexican culture, different generations can usually bond over the traditional music of their heritage, which explains how it has lasted throughout centuries. Furthermore, as stated on our website “the music and spirit of the deceased will continue,” so hiring a Mariachi band makes complete sense, to properly honor our friends and family who grew up with the wonderful traditional music.

Upon hiring Mariachi Alegre De Tucson for any event, including a funeral, you will be paying for a professional band which has been playing for 40 years on behalf of various occasions. We perform at wakes, funerals and burials, as well as the more commonly known reunions, birthdays, weddings, or any other event you can think of. We will treat you and your loved ones (no matter the occasion) with respect, honor, and dignity, and we will be more than happy to make your events memorable and special year round.

Similarly, if you want to honor someone, alive or passed, we offer great prices on our serenatas among our other services.

Pricing, for a 2 hour service package deal:

In town: $450
Out of town: $650 (must be at least 2 hours)

Serenatas:
$235 for 6-8 songs.

Also available for holidays and corporate functions.

For more questions, feel free to contact us at (520) 981-3459.

Also, check out our video library to get a feeling for how we perform and if we are the right fit for your events this summer!

 
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Mariachi Funerals and Masses during the Summer – $180

Published on July 8, 2014 by in Mariachi Band

Summer is a time for vacations and fun; water play and picnics; parties and suntans. It is always a relief when school is out and a rigid schedule does not have to be kept. They don’t call them the hazy, crazy, lazy days of summer for no reason. Even though the summer months do bring the much awaited slowing down that is so much needed in our hustling, bustling life, the natural cycles of life continue, no matter the season. no matter the time. It makes us remember the lyrics of the song by Pete Seeger’s song “Turn, Turn, Turn” written back in the 50’s. His inspiration was this passage from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, taken almost verbatim.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

So, no matter the season, we will often find it necessary to stop those activities that are appropriate for the time of year to bid farewell to a loved one or a friend. For that reason, Mariachi Alegre de Tucson wants to remind the families and friends of the Tucson area that the Mariach Alegre is always ready to play for funerals and masses, no matter the time of year. In fact, as a special gift to our faithful supporters, we are offering a discount for those who need our services for Mariachi funerals or masses during the next two months.

Please call us and ask about our $180 funeral and mass specials. We will be happy and honored to assist you and provide you with a lowered rate for these services during the summer months. No other Mariachi bands are making such an offer, but Mariachi Alegre is proud to offer its funeral and Mass music to the Tucson community as a gift of appreciation for the patronage you have given Mariachi Alegre de Tucson.good-bye in a tradition

Bid farewell to your loved one with music that has been a part of the departed’s life. Say good-bye in a traditional and respectful manner. Decir adiós a su ser querido en un conocido y con amor.

Call :

George Bejarano

Mariachi Alegre de Tucson AZ

520-981-3459

 
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Mariachi Band for Arizona Summer Weddings

Published on July 5, 2014 by in Mariachi Band

5F7Xg86Summertime is the time of year when many brides choose to schedule their weddings.  The weather makes it easy to stage an outdoor event, if that is what the bride chooses, but even an inside service could easily flow to an outside reception, with special lighting, candles, dancing, eating, and toasts.

Yes, the daytime temperatures will be hot,  Native Arizonians have adapted pretty well to the high summertime temperatures in the dessert, but brides may want to follow some of these tips when creating their perfect wedding celebration. The time of day that you plan to have your wedding can make a very big difference in the comfort level of your guests.  There are some traditional times that most marriage ceremonies take place, but for a summer Arizona wedding, you might consider an early morning starting time or late afternoon.  You might even give paper parasols or beautiful paper fans to guests as a small gift, to shade and cool participants.  When evening comes, the temperature in Arizona becomes even more pleasant.

You might consider serving frosty beverages before, during, and after your ceremony.  Lovely punch and fruit drinks, cocktails or “mocktails”, with colored straws to match your wedding theme could be a delicious, cooling,  and festive addition to the affair.

When planning your reception menu, think cool salads, colorful fruit canapes, ice cream stations, and lots of cold water.  Food, appetizers, and desserts should all be cool and refreshing.

Luckily, the intense heat of the sun is dry heat, no humidity, so shade can make a huge difference in the temperature you are experiencing.  Make sure your venue has shade trees, a pavilion, or a covered patio.

Make plans to have water, bottled or otherwise, available at all times.  Get the word out to your guests that hydration is of utmost importance in this part of the country.  Folks will get busy with the ceremony and all the activities attached to the festivities and may forget to drink their water.  Guests should receive  frequent reminders to drink, drink, drink.

Most Arizona outdoor venues have evaporative coolers available which add a mist component to the outdoor fans and do a good job at keeping friends and family comfortable.

It probably goes without saying that great entertainment will keep your guests’ minds off the heat.  In Arizona, one of the most popular forms of wedding music is the Mariachi Band.  George Bejarano of the Mariachi Alegre de Tucson, and his crew have been entertaining at weddings for well over 30 years.  They know how to make wedding guests have fun, but most of all, they know how to make the bride happy.  From the festive tunes that get everybody out on the dance floor, to the beautiful seranatas sung to the bride, you are going to be glad that you included Mariachi Alegre  in the party.

You can tell the band ahead of time if you have any special requests, or your guests can ask for special songs at the reception, either way, Mariachi Alegre de Tucson has been making weddings beautiful and exciting for a long time.  Call now to ensure that you get this talented and experienced band reserved for your special date.  Your wedding will be all the more special with Mariachi Alegre de Tucson.

Book Your Mariachi Band Today

Call (520) 981-3459

 
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Mariachi Alegre de Tucson and Seranatas

20070810_-_Tenampa_-_078Seranatas may be one of the most romantic ideas you have ever heard. If you are a girl, you will probably agree that having a group of handsome men singing love songs to you and you alone, is just about as good as it gets.  In the old days a seranata, which is just the Spanish word for serenade, the tradition went like this. A young man who was “courting” a young lady would gather up some musicians and singers, and take them to his girlfriend’s house on her birthday.  The catch was that all this took place at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning.  So, while the girl was sleeping, the boy and his accompanists would get as close to her window as they could, and they would sing a love song to her and dedicate it to the girl with all his love.  Are you swooning yet?

Sometimes the song went like this:

“Disperta dulce amor de mi vida.

Disperta sit e encuentras dormida...”

or,

“Wake up, sweet love of my life. Wake up if you find yourself asleep”.

Then, continuing along with the tradition, the girl would come to her window and throw a kiss to her beloved.  In later times, she would thank him the next day.

Another good reason for a seranata was when a boy was too shy to tell a girl that he liked her.  So, after a couple of glasses of wine, he would get his musical companions to go with him to tell the girl of his, as yet, unspoken  love.  The next day, he would eagerly await her response, negative or positive.

Also, at times, the seranata would be a last ditch effort to restore the love of a girlfriend after a fight.  The songs the scorned lover would choose were songs that asked for her forgiveness and a return to their status quo.  At other times, the guy would ask the musicians to sing songs along the lines of “I really don’t care if you like me or not anymore”.  The opposite of romantic, no?

Another good reason for a seranata was when a boy liked a girl, but the girl’s parents did not like the boy.  In this case, seranatas could be set up to take place on a regular schedule for weeks.  This was to get the girl’s parents to see that he would persist until they gave him their blessing to “date” their daughter.

Another twist was the seranata that was trying to persuade the girl to dump her current boyfriend and start dating the guy who was sponsoring the seranata.  Hmmm… Doesn’t seem quite kosher, does it?

Whatever the reason you would like to have a seranata for your loved one, Mariachi Alegre de Tucson is the band to employ.  They can do seranatas that will accomplish any of the goals discussed.  They have songs that will break the heart, melt the heart, and change the heart, of any damsel within hearing distance of the tunes.

♥ Serenatas include 6 – 8 songs and the price is $235 if in the city of Tucson.

 

 
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Mariachi at the Time of your Sorrow

Mariachi Alegre De Tucson Arizona

Yes, Mariachi is often the sound of gaiety, laughter, and dancing.  But for those of the Mexican culture, or for those who are drawn to the Mexican culture, the Mariachi band is a familiar and proper way to say “good-bye” to your loved one. Fortunately, there is Mariachi Alegre de Tucson*, led by George Bejarano to help you with your funeral, wake, or graveside services.

  Mariachi is a much expected and valuable addition to many Mexican cultural rites of passage.  The funeral is no different.  Trained in the services surrounding the death of a family member, the band is extremely sensitive to the needs and desires of its clients. The bereaved family can be certain that their wishes will be followed to a “t”, and that the addition of the mariachi music will be tasteful, respectful, and appropriate.

With sincerity and understanding, the musician’s leader will meet with the family to decide on song choices, on how the band will be integrated into the service, and to be of service themselves, in any way necessary. The Mariachi Alegre de Tucson is well-acquainted with playing for funeral services.  In the 40 years they have been together they have played for scores of funeral services.  They know the Mexican traditions, the Mexican culture, in general, and they know how to compassionately and sympathetically do their part to make their inclusion one that is meaningful.

There is a relatively standard set of songs that are played at funerals, in that way the set is quite similar to the music played for a mass.  Normally, songs that had a special or meaningful place in the deceased’s life are included.  Also included are songs that celebrate the life of the departed one, while still having the tone of the inevitable feelings of loss that are, undoubtedly in the hearts and minds of the family. Some standard songs from which the family can choose are: Amor Eterno, Un Dia a La Vez, Despedida con Mariachi, Te Vas Angel Mio, Cruz de Madera, Nadie Es Eterno, Adios a La Vida, La Barca de Oro, and Las Golondrinas.

We certainly want our clients to be aware of the pricing for our services, but we also want them to know that Mariachi Alegre de Tucson considers it a privilege to assist the family in the respectful farewell to their beloved.  We want to be a part of the service without distracting in any way.

Our pricing is as follows:

Masses and Burials in the Tucson Metropolitan Area – $450 for 2 hours

Masses and Burials Out of Town – $650 for 2 hours (minimum – 2 hours)

Thank you for considering us. We can be reached at 520-981-3459

* Mariachi Alegre de Tucson is also available to play at your upcoming weddings, birthday celebrations, family reunions, quinceneras, and serenatas**.

**Serenatas include 6 – 8 songs and the price is $235 if in the city of Tucson.

To be absolutely certain of booking us on the date you desire, be sure to call as soon as possible so that we can set aside the date and time of your event!

 
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