The real deal
El Mariachi Cazadores
On the Reno music scene of late, there has been a push toward the eclectic. Sounds from newly coined genres and various cultures are making waves at local venues. And, with the eclectic, comes the question of the authentic. To define authenticity in Reno, many would say, is no easy task.
Strolling from table to table at Si, Señor restaurant on a Thursday night, donned in immaculate black two-piece suits with extravagant brass buttons, gaudy belt-buckles and shiny red corbatas, local mariachis El Mariachi Cazadores sure seem to be the real deal.
Started in 1992 by then-newcomer to the United States Salvador Anguiano, the six members of El Mariachi Cazadores create an almost thunderous presence when they play together. With three guitar players each contributing to a full spectrum of string-based melody and rhythm, a booming trumpet, a gentle violin and a wide range of vocals coming from every member of the band, the music is clearly audible in any part of the multi-roomed restaurant.
Without question, the 13-year-old El Mariachi Cazadores’ finely tuned sound has made the band a staple in the local mariachi scene. Playing most nights of the week at venues such as Si, Señor, Mariscos Las Islitas, various birthdays, weddings, baptisms and quinceañeras El Mariachi Cazadores is running a busy schedule.
For all intents and purposes, the real draw of the band is Rafaél Mojica, a long-lost identical-twin of J-Lo-lover Marc Anthony. After only three months in the United States from his previous home in Mexico City, Mojica dazzles the audience with his deep vocals and intricate rifts on the guittaron (a Mariachi-style bass guitar). His appearance is so similar to the aforementioned pop-star, it has become a joke among the band members and a comment frequently overheard at public gigs.
But, the reserved young musician has no wish to steal the spotlight. Each member of the band contributes to the unique sound, and they’ve formed the unity necessary to further their public careers. And, at least as the male members of the band say, the increased popularity they’ve enjoyed in recent years can’t be bad. The musicians report that one of the best parts of playing in El Mariachi Cazadores is, loosely translated, “the ladies love us.”
According to Salvador Luna, who plays the high-pitched vihuela guitar, even Domingo Torres-Flores, the eldest member, 73, attracts women’s attention with his quick, precise tunes on the violin.
“Domingo is the real Latin lover,” says Luna, the most outspoken member of the band.
Sexual braggadocio aside, the mariachis cite their influences as widely known acts like Mariachi Vargas from Mexico and Mariachi Los Camperos from Los Angeles, but also do imitaciones of other Mexican musicians, such as six-time Grammy nominee Juan Gabriel, Vicente Fernandez and Paquita La Del Barrio.
According to Anguiano, the band’s manager, spokesman and guitar player, big things are in store for the Cazadores. This month, the band went to Hollywood to record a CD for BMG Records with its female vocalist Lety Orosco. Lety, La Voz de Nevada y Sus Favoritas will be released in July.
And while they have sharp outfits, a growing fan base and the mariachi sound dialed, are they authentic?
“Any band that plays with us will say that we are authentic,” Anguiano says. “So, yes, we are authentic.”