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Tania Lopez of Mariachi Lindas Mexicanas at the MARIACHI USA festival in Los Angeles on June 18, 2022.

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Tania Lopez of Mariachi Lindas Mexicanas at the MARIACHI USA festival in Los Angeles on June 18, 2022.

Adam Perez for NPR

The largest mariachi music festival in the United States took place this summer at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The 33rd annual MARIACHI USA centered a genre that’s rooted in folk traditions and has become a symbol of Mexican culture. The show honored Vicente Fernández, an icon of ranchera music, and highlighted songs made popular by the legend.

The lineup featured an array of performers, including Grammy award-winning Mariachi Divas, Mariachi Estrella de México, Mariachi Los Reyes, Mariachi Lindas Mexicanas and Mi Tierra Ballet Folklórico. Silvia Estrada and Mayra Martinez of the Mariachi Lindas recently sang back-up to Omar Apollo’s song “En El Olvido” during his Tiny Desk concert.

“Rancheras is a music genre that dates back to early 1900s (some say early 1800s), thus it will be like great-grandma singing Las Mañanitas to grandma, ” said Rodri Rodriguez, the festival’s founder, producer and host. She created the event to give mariachi a forum for artistic expression and a way to celebrate the rich musical traditions that so many have come to enjoy.

Members of Mariachi Estrella de México, from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, gather to take a photo at the MARIACHI USA festival in June.

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Jorge Alvarez, the lead of the Los Angeles-based Mariachi Los Reyes, poses for a photo at the MARIACHI USA festival in June.

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Rodri Rodriguez, the creator and producer of Mariachi USA, poses for a photo at the Los Angeles-based festival in June.

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Audience members pose for a photo at the MARIACHI USA festival in June.

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An audience member wears a Vicente Fernández T-shirt to the MARIACHI USA festival in Los Angeles in June.

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Mariachi Lindas Mexicanas pose for a portrait at the festival.

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Top: Alejandro Uribe and Edson Andres of Mariachi Estrella de México, which was founded in Guadalajara, Mexico, pose for photos at the Mariachi USA festival in June. Bottom: The Boyle Heights, Los Angeles-based Mariachi Lindas Mexicanas, founded by Maricela Martinez (far left), poses for a photo in June; member Silvia Estrada is pictured at right.

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A member of Mariachi Los Reyes, poses for a photo at the MARIACHI USA festival in June.

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Two performers from Mariachi Los Reyes pose for a photo at the MARIACHI USA festival in June.

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Cindy Shae, founder of Mariachi Divas, celebrated her 23rd anniversary on the Hollywood Bowl at this year’s festival.

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An audience member poses for a photo at the MARIACHI USA festival in June.

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Mi Tierra Ballet Folklórico, a dance group, poses for a photo at the Mariachi USA festival in June.

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One of the Mariachi Lindas Mexicanas fixes another member’s bow at the festival.

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Three members of the Mariachi Divas group pose for a photo at the MARIACHI USA festival in June.

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