“The Queen of Mariachi” performed on the Sauder Concert Hall stage on Saturday. Aida Cuevas, also known as “La Voz de México” or “Mexico’s voice,” was the latest guest in the Performing Arts Series.She is currently touring her show, “Yo Creo Que Es Tiempo” (“I Think It’s Time”), accompanied by a 12-person mariachi band as she celebrates 47 years of traditional Mexican and Latin American.
Cuevas has an expansive list of accomplishments from her four-decade career, including the 2017 Grammy for Best Regional Mexican Album and the 2010 Latin Grammy for Best Tango Album. The singer has also recorded a total of 41 albums throughout her career and sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.
This show’s tour is named after a song of the same name written by Cuevas’ late mentor and producer, Juan Gabriel. A segment of the performance was dedicated to the Latin American pop icon. Cuevas spoke of his importance to her and sang a duet with a video recording of his voice.
Her mariachi band was composed of students and professors from the University of Houston Rio Grande. Cuevas highlighted their affiliation and talent in the middle of the show, and the professors took turns in the spotlight with instrumental solos. After intermission, Cuevas’ youngest daughter, Valeria Cuevas, took the stage. She sang alone and then with her mother before exiting.
The box office reported 643 tickets sold for Friday’s concert. Bryan Hernandez Rodriguez, a senior computer science and sustainability studies double major, was one attendee.
“I’m always intrigued by anything that embodies my Mexican culture and represents it in a beautiful way,” he said.
“When an artist of Aida’s caliber comes into town, the Mexican audience never fails to bring amazing energy … I definitely left Sauder Concert Hall feeling like I experienced a piece of Mexico,” he added.
Ana Yoder, a sophomore biochemistry major, also watched the performance. Yoder thought Cuevas “brought a lot of warmth and hospitality to the stage.”
Brody Thomas, the performance venue production manager for Sauder Concert Hall, said the selection for the Performing Arts Series happens far in advance with a committee.
When selecting their artists, the committee considers budget, GC’s core values and whether a performer will resonate with the audience at Goshen, among other criteria.
After an artist has been found, “lots of negotiation happens behind the scenes with managers representing the artists to come to fair agreements,” Thomas said.
There was a standing ovation and a loud cheer after the last song of “Otra! Otra! Otra!” until Cuevas and her daughter returned to the stage for an encore.
The next concert in the series will be another Grammy-winning group, The Swingles, performing a Christmas set called Together for the Holidays. Tickets for the Dec. 6 show can be purchased online or at the box office.