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Silvestre Vargas

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Tecalitlán, Jalisco, México (1921 – 1985)

Silvestre Vargas Vázquez (born in Tecalitlán, Jalisco, México, 31 December 1901- † Guadalajara, México, 7 October 1985). Was a Mexican musician and composer who was part of the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán from 1921 until 1975. Collaborated with Rubén Fuentes on the musical compositions for the Mariachi, which became world famous over the years.

In 1928, he became the leader of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, an ensemble from Jalisco begun by his father in 1898. In the 1930s the group moved to Mexico City, and Vargas, along with Rubén Fuentes, became pivotal composers in the evolution of the genre. Silvestre and the Mariachi Vargas made dozens of recordings and starred in many films through the 1960s. He died in 1985, and his grave site became a popular place of pilgrimage on the date of his death. In 1997, a museum dedicated to Silvestre was established in Jalisco.

Son to Gaspar Vargas and Marcela Vázquez. Like most children from this age he studied only up to the 3th grade of primary school, but from than on showed interest in music and with 13 began to play the violin interpretations of “La Joaquinita”, “El Limoncito”, “La Adelita”, “Honor y Gloria” and “El Diablito”. This love of music came from his father after he had founded the Mariachi Vargas, included Don Gaspar (director & guitarist), Manuel Mendoza (harp), Lino Quintero y Refugio Hernández (Violin).

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