OTHELLO — A concert featuring Mattawa native Jose Iniguez, a mariachi performer who features the classic form of mariachi bolero — as well as performing as an operatic tenor — is scheduled for 7 p.m. July 29 at Lions Park in Othello.
Iniguez will be joined by Mariachi Las Aguilas de EWU, the Ballard Civic Orchestra and Bailadores de Bronce, Seattle.
Proceeds from the concert will go to the Iniguez Family Endowed Scholarship Fund, founded by the family to help Hispanic kids attend college.
Mariachi Los Aguilas de EWU is a program at Eastern Washington University. The Ballard Civic Orchestra is a volunteer organization and is based in Seattle. The Bailadores de Bronce was founded at the University of Washington and features traditional dances from throughout Mexico.
Tickets are $25 per person. Children and youth younger than 17 years of age are admitted free, but must be accompanied by an adult. The concert is sponsored by WAFLA, a company that works with employers and farm labor, and is to celebrate farmworkers. It’s also to honor Jon Warling, Othello, one of the organization’s founders, who is retiring.
“We’re promoting this to celebrate the agriculture workforce,” said Kim Bresler, the organization's public information manager.
Iniguez is the son of a farmworker. He performed in the middle school and high school choir and entered his first state vocal contest as a high school senior. He and his four sisters and six brothers are all college graduates.
Iniguez is a tenor and singer of classical opera, and interested in the music of his family and cultural heritage.
He performs bolero, a classic form of mariachi – the original style, he said. Mariachi’s roots are in western Mexico, but it also shows the influence of Europe in its string accompaniment. The fusion of folk music and the classical tradition meant it featured, in the beginning, violins and guitars accompanying the singers. The horns were added later.
Iniguez said he stumbled across a performance of Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” on television, which got him interested in classical opera.
He’s a tenor, and tenors are a huge part of classical opera, from Verdi and Rossini to Puccini and Tchaikovsky. His long-term goal, he said, is to become a classical opera performer. He has recently released an album, which can be found on his website.