During Sunday’s ¡Viva el Mariachi! Festival, singer Pedro Fernández displayed his rich voice, his quick dancing feet and his dazzling stage persona during a 90-minute set. Most of the 7,100 audience members responded to his electric performance by dancing, swaying, and singing along.
After the festival ended, I had the opportunity to do a one-on-one interview with Fernández in his dressing room. He was just as warm in person as he was on the stage, and his bright smile and quick laugh helped to ease the nervous butterflies in my stomach.
He told me that he was very happy to have returned to Radio Bilingüe’s annual festival, and declared the event to be “maravilloso” (marvelous!) He said he was thankful to the audience por sus aplausos, por sus gritos, porque cantaron mis canciones (for their applause, their shouts, because they sang my songs) and said he finished his performance with el deseo de regresar muy pronto (the desire to return very soon.)
One of my favorite elements of Fernández’s performance was his dancing. I understand that mariachis don’t traditionally dance, but he and his musicians lit up the stage with their energetic movements. When I asked Fernández why he chooses to dance during his performance, he said he tries to be different and distinct.
“Nuestra música es muy bonita,” y tiene “ritmos y colores maravillosos,” (“Our music is very pretty,” and has “marvelous rhythms and colors,” he said. He said he does not dance during more romantic songs, pero “¿cuando son ritmicas, porque no?” (When the songs are rhythmic, why not?)
I also talked to him about the importance of passing along the tradition of Mexican music and culture onto the next generations, and he said this is very imporant to him. I know I left the festival with a new appreciation for mariachi music – and with three dashing pictures of Fernández, thanks to his publicist!