History (Education)

Mariachi grew from humble beginnings in the Jalisco highlands over 200 years ago, and is believed to reflect an adaptation of Spanish and indigenous instrumentation and rhythm. The mariachi’s striking attire, known as the Traje de Charro, was taken from wealthy horsemen of old México.

With its strong ties to the tradition and culture of México, mariachi music has become recognized as an international symbol of Mexican culture.

As mariachi music swept across México, its romantic song, shimmering look and captivating rhythm soared upwards into California. Mariachi became known among a curious and accepting society as a proud expression of a rich heritage from the south.

Jose Hernandez represents the fifth generation of performers in his family line. For more than 125 years the Hernandez family heritage has been immersed in mariachi. The Hernandez family played a vital role in bringing Mariachi to the United States.

In the mid 1880s, Jose’s great-great-grandfather, Pedro Hernandez, played in dusty plaza regions of western México known as La Sierra del Tigre. Then great-grandfather Crecencio Hernandez was a violinist in the land. Grandfather Jose Hernandez along with Jose’s father, Esteban Hernandez, organized and enlivened audiences with Mariachi Chapala in 1938, having extended into the early 1960s.

1957 was the year the first fully organized mariachi group appeared in Los Angeles. Mariachi Chapala formed by the Hernandez & Sosa Families, paved the way for the mariachi groups of today.

Then came Mariachi Los Galleros, with father Esteban, Pedro, Cencho, Jesus, Antoñio Hernandez and Jose, which became Jose Hernandez’s staging ground in the 1970s.

Recently, the Governor of Jalisco, México invited Jose Hernandez to receive an honorary award as a tribute to the contribution the Hernandez family has provided to the artistic medium of mariachi.

Over the years, the Hernandez family has continued to represent mariachi with pride and dignity. Unique to the generations of Jose Hernandez is the testimony that they have lived the Passion of Mariachi.