Valley welcomes 'La Voz' winner
Oscar Cruz, winner of "La Voz" television show, was formally introduced by Calexico Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Hildy Carillo (right) Tuesday. (CHELCEY ADAMI PHOTO / May 15, 2013)
The winner of Mexico’s “La Voz” season one, a musical competition television show modeled after “The Voice,” is a special guest at the 22nd annual Festival Sin Fronteras Mariachi Madness.
Cruz, a native of Zacatlán de las Manzanas, Puebla, garnered a recording contract and car with his win.
Before “La Voz,” he primarily worked as a janitor at a school, and after his win, he went on to record a solo album and song for the telenovela “Abismo de “Pasión.”
It’s his first visit to the United States, and he said he’s very appreciative and humbled by the invitation to participate in the Mariachi Madness activities this week.
He lent his musical expertise at the first round of Mariachi Idol judging Tuesday, and guests can meet him at events such as the tequila-tasting Friday as well as the Festival Sin Fronteras Mariachi Madness Saturday.
“Mariachi music is very positive, very happy and wakes up emotions inside you,” he said in Spanish on Tuesday. “It’s known internationally for bringing out emotions and excitement in people.”
Mariachi musicians must have patience to perfect the skill involved in performing it, he explained, and “mariachi music requires that you have a real devotion to the music.”
Cruz enjoys seeing younger generations “that are excited to learn the Mexican tradition of mariachi music” and added that he was very pleased to see that it has a presence in the United States.
Cruz was formally introduced Tuesday during a luncheon, where he met with event sponsors, media, the mayor and other local politicians as well as the numerous fans who lined up to meet him.
Alicia Urena and Jasmine Ramirez were on their lunch break when they were surprised to see Cruz. The fans giggled as they got his autograph.
Family Style Buffet owner Carlton Hargrave said Cruz came into his restaurant for breakfast Tuesday and was met by women and children hoping to meet the singer.
“He was very gracious and took time to greet all of the ladies and all of the kids. He spoke with them and took photos with each one of them,” Hargrave said.
As for his first impressions of the Valley?
“It’s very hot,” Cruz said while laughing. “But what’s important is the warmth we will feel from the audience Saturday.”
The Mariachi Madness Festival begins at 5 p.m. Saturday in Crummett Park, and general admission is $10.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or firstname.lastname@example.org