Arts & Humanities Campus News

UGA Presents celebrates the Day of the Dead with leading mariachi band

Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández takes the Performing Arts Center stage on Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. (Submitted photo)

Immediately after Halloween, Mexicans and the Mexican diaspora celebrate el Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). Families gather to fondly remember lost loved ones and laugh in the face of mortality.

UGA Presents will mark this holiday Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. with a Hodgson Concert Hall performance by Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández, the leading mariachi band in the U.S. Audiences can also attend a free pre-performance talk by Jared Holton in Ramsey Concert Hall from 6:45-7:15 p.m.

While his family tree is rooted in five generations of mariachi musicians who hail from La Sierra del Tigre region of Jalisco, Hernández has built on that foundation to grow mariachi music in new territories, musical genres and in the hearts of new audiences.

After forming Mariachi Sol de México in 1981, his charismatic arrangements and musical direction led the group to instant and lasting success: playing in sold-out halls from Madison Square Garden to Beijing and Pyongyang, North Korea.

They gained the attention of the White House and have been invited to play for five U.S. presidents, from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Hernández’s classical arrangements have led to the band sharing the stage with symphony orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Santa Rosa Symphony, San Francisco Symphony and Jalisco Symphony.

The theatrical aspect of Sol de México’s performances has been an attraction to Hollywood, where they have provided music since the 1980s. Their work can be heard in films such as “Rango,” “Glory Road,” “Seabiscuit,” “Don Juan de Marco” and many more.

The versatility of Sol de México to expand to new audiences has led to unexpected collaborations, such as with the Beach Boys, Willie Nelson and Lady Gaga.

World music on the UGA Presents series continues Dec. 6 with A Celtic Family Christmas with Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy; the fiddlers will be joined onstage by their seven children. On Feb. 28, South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo comes to Hodgson Concert Hall for an evening of inspired a cappella music.

Three ways to get tickets

  1. Purchase tickets online at
  2. Call the Performing Arts Center box office at 706-542-4400, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  3. Visit the UGA Performing Arts Center box office, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (five-minute parking is available in the drop off circle at the Performing Arts Center for purchasing or picking up tickets.)

Single tickets begin at $25, and UGA student tickets are just $10. Parking is free.

To learn more about all UGA Performing Arts Center events, visit