When enjoying a Walt Disney World vacation at Epcot you don’t have to travel far in order to enjoy some authentic Mexican Mariachi music. The group Mariachi Cobre plays daily at the Mexico pavilion which is usually most guests’ first stop when touring World Showcase. This group has been playing in Epcot since it opened in 1982. Mariachi Cobre was formed in 1971 in Tucson, Arizona by Randy Carrillo and first performed at Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort and Magic Kingdom in the summer of 1973. Carrillo was also a member of the first youth Mariachi groupin the United States: Mariachi Juvenil Los Chanquitos Feos de Tucson. Over the years the group gained recognition and recorded several albums, eventually being invited to become a permanent musical act in Epcot.
Depending on the weather, the Mariachi group can be found in one of two places. On rainy and sometimes hot days they can be found inside the Mexico Pavilion playing in the festive Plaza de los Amigos market. If the weather cooperates, as it did during my recent visit, you can find the band playing outside along the World Showcase promenade. The group consists of 2 trumpet players, 3 guitar players and 7 violinists who fill the air with Mexican folk music all while dressed in traditional Mariachi clothing. Along with their instruments, all members of the group have wonderful singing voices and produce beautiful harmonies during their show. Their performances at Epcot are very lively, and, like many other live acts, if they know someone is celebrating a birthday they make sure to bring that guest into their show.
In addition to performing at Epcot, Mariachi Cobre has also shared the stage with many famous stars such as Linda Ronstadt, Julio Iglesias, and Carlos Santana. The group also has a long history of performing with many great orchestras across the United States. One of the notable orchestras they’ve performed with is the Boston Pops, with whom they also recorded “The Latin Album.” Much of their music can be found online and purchased through such sites such as iTunes or Amazon.
Finally, the group continues to give back to the community by holding Mariachi Conferences throughout the country. During these conferences they share the artistic and cultural values of their Mexican heritage and also teach attendees performance fundamentals.
Next time you’re in Epcot, make sure to take time out to hear this very talented group. Their show times can be found on the daily times guide. Cast members at the Mexico pavilion will also be able to tell you if they will be preforming inside or outside that day. After catching a show, don’t be afraid to hang around and take time out to talk to the members of the group. They are always willing to pose for photos and to answer any questions guests may have.
Contributed by: Shalon Given (NDI#167) Shalon is the DDL Music Blogger.