Rodri Rodriguez – Visionary Founder of Mariachi USA
By Spectrum News Staff
PUBLISHED 11:56 AM ET Jun. 10, 2019
This week on LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez, we profile Rodri Rodriguez. She’s the visionary founder of Mariachi USA — widely considered one of L.A.’s most thrilling annual music events, a summer tradition for generations of Southern Californians, and the preeminent mariachi music festival in the world.
This June, Mariachi USA, celebrates its 30th anniversary at the legendary Hollywood Bowl.
Rodri shares with Giselle the cultural significance of mariachi music and why it is gaining popularity with younger generations, forward-thinking corporations, and nations the world over.
Rodri reveals to Giselle the challenges of breaking ground in the music industry as a Latina woman in the 1970s and successfully lobbying the Recording Academy to create a Grammy category to honor Latin music.
But before Rodri’s success in the music industry, she endured decades of trauma. She opens up to Giselle about overcoming her tragic childhood fleeing Castro’s Cuba alone as a seven-year-old in a historic airlift, living in a refugee camp without her parents, before being sent to live in an abusive foster home.
Today, Rodri’s Mariachi USA Foundation is committed to bringing children joy and confidence by funding mariachi music programs for students and schools in East L.A.