Hits Keep Coming for UHD's Mariachi Los Caimanes
By Mike Emery
In a short time, the University of Houston-Downtown’s Mariachi Los Caimanes has earned local acclaim as a musical group on the rise.
It was just one year ago that the group made its public debut performing in Dia de los Muertos make-up to a lunchtime crowd in UHD’s Academic Building. A follow-up concert in January of this year packed the Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium, and despite a pandemic, the group is in demand throughout the city.
The group recently performed on the streaming special H-Town Votes Live (performance starts at 41:00 mark), and on Oct. 30, Houstonians will experience these young musicians during “Calavera con Calavera!” This performance is part of Miller Outdoor Theater’s Dream Streams.
The group will contribute music to the Day of the Dead-themed play “Calavera con Calavera” performed by Grupo de Teatro Índigo. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 30 and can be viewed on YouTube and Facebook.
Adding to the group’s recent success is vocalist Jimmy Arredondo being named a finalist in Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Vocalist Competition. The student was among only 10 people from the U.S. selected as a finalist and the only singer from Houston.
“The success of Mariachi Los Caimanes can be attributed to the resiliency of the students in the group,” said Jose Vazquez, Assistant Director of Student Activities and the group’s Director. “They’ve overcome many challenges … navigating family life, work schedules, and a lack of full band rehearsals because of COVID-19. In spite of this, they were able to incorporate ourselves into this year’s Dia De Los Muertos production at Miller Outdoor Theater and join the H-Town Votes Live initiative at MECA Houston. We hope to inspire all Gators and hope to make you all proud. We play for you!”
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.