Mariachi Imperial de America Charms Macedonia, March 17-19, 2010.wmv





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Published on Mar 26, 2010

On Wednesday morning March 17th Mariachi Imperial de America arrived in Macedonia from Albania. Without delay they brought out their instruments at Niko Nestor High School in Struga where an enthusiastic crowd of students and teachers awaited their arrival. The packed classroom proved to be an intimate setting for Macedonians first introduction to the groups unique style of Mexican-American Mariachi music.

That afternoon and evening the band brought their music to Strugas streets with impromptu performances on the towns pedestrian mall and an open-air concert on the downtown bridge. The concert drew over 1,000 curious listeners, most of whom had never seen a live Mariachi band before. The band leaders son, seven-year old Zuri Longoria, wowed the crowd with a solo performance of dancing and serenades to the local children, an act that was a hit at every venue.

The next day in Stip, the bands tour gained momentum with a visit to the Music Academy, interviews with the media, and another large concert. Undaunted by the early spring breeze on top of the plateau above Strip at the Kanal 77 radio station, the band serenaded the gathering crowd. The melodies of the trumpets, violettas, guitar and bass filled the brisk air and drifted over the homes of Stips residences below. By the third song, several hundred delighted residents climbed the plateau to get a closer look at Mariachi Imperial de Americs traditional costumes and listen to popular songs like La Bamba, and the bands rendition of Jesen u Meni, which they partially sang in Macedonian.

By the time the group arrived in Skopje on Friday, word about their music had spread. Their first stop was an appearance on the early morning TV show of Ranoden. The broadcast allowed Skopjians to enjoy the groups music over their first cup of morning coffee. The mid-morning stop included the Josip Broz Tito School where students shared Macedonias musical heritage by playing popular Macedonian melodies. The band was astonished when the students asked questions about Mariachi music in the Hispanic-America community of America in both English and Spanish.

During the afternoon, the Mayor of Cair, Izet Medziti, provided a tour of the Old Bazaar and an introduction to a local guitar craftsman. After trying a few Macedonian guitars, the band gave another impromptu street performance for the thrilled shopkeepers. At midday the Mayor hosted a luncheon for the group and Ambassador Reeker. The musicians, hungry from their morning tours, enjoyed a typical Macedonian meal consisting of Shopska salad and the famous Macedonian tavche gravche.

As a crescendo to their Macedonia tour, the group provided two more concerts in the Old Bazaar and Skopjes pedestrian walking mall. The largest was an open-air event at the Army Hall near Skopjes only Mexican restaurant. The Mayor of Skopje, Koce Trajanovski, and over a thousand new fans to Mariachi musica de America attended the melodious event. Their cheers and good humor sent the band off in warm Macedonian style.

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