Mariachis to Uvalde: Artist issues call for musicians to play one year after tragedy

Organizers are asking mariachi groups to arrive at noon in Uvalde’s town square on May 24.

UVALDE, Texas — This week marks one year since the tragedy in Uvalde.

Nineteen students and two teachers from Robb Elementary where shot and killed when a gunman entered the school on May 24.

Many will descend on the small Texas town to reflect and remember the lives lost. Others will go in attempts to console the grieving with a cultural cure.

Local artist Cruz Ortiz is issuing a statewide call to all mariachis for a ‘Congreso en Uvalde’ on Wednesday at noon in the town square. Transportation will be provided if coming from the San Antonio area.

“This is not to protest. This is more of a statement saying, ‘This is what we do. This is how we heal,” said Ortiz.

Plans are to play in the downtown area where a memorial dedicated to the victims remains. He is organizing the event with mariachi Anthony Medrano, who was one of many mariachis to respond and play days after the tragedy last year.

“We are consolers of the people,” he told KENS 5 in a June 2022 interview.

They will rely on music to help heal the grieving, and play songs in remembrance of the 21 people gone.

“It’s culture. Culture cure,’ said Ortiz.

Ortiz will also hand out corridos, a Mexican narrative ballad.

“the corridos are to talk about the feelings of the people,” he said.

About 80 mariachi groups played last year, according to Ortiz. He hopes groups will return to play for the community very much still consumed with grief.

“We will never forget what happened in Uvalde, just never.”

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