Mariachi Miracle video samples

The Mariachi Miracle is currently in production.

Here are several sample clips to illustrate some of the material being gathered in this project:

The Mariachi Miracle is a book/film project, currently in production, tracing the impact of youth mariachis on the social, political, artistic, economic and educational landscape of America. The film focuses on Tucson, Arizona as an example of these trends and shows how the city has been transformed in the 50 years since its first youth mariachi, Los Changuitos Feos, came into being. The film is being produced and directed by former Tucson Citizen journalist turned documentary maker Daniel Buckley, and is the 6th in his Cine Plaza at the Fox documentary film series. A sneak preview of he film will be shown at Tucson’s Fox Theatre in April, 2017. For more go to .




This 4 minute teaser for the documentary film, “The Mariachi Miracle,” now in production, focuses on the creation of Tucson’s Mariachi Aztlán de Pueblo High School, and how that group became transformational for both the students who played in the group and the man who created it, Richard Carranza. Carranza currently is Superintenent of Schools in the San Francisco School District, and credits his decision to become a school administator to the creation of Mariachi Aztlán. For more on the film go to or look up The Mariachi Miracle on Facebook.




Early members of Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos Jerry Gay, Frank Felix and Bob Gastellum discuss how their time in the group impacted their life’s work. Felix would go on to become the youngest state senator in Arizona history and a vice president at the University of Arizona. Gay would become an aerospace engineer and was part of the team that designed the Hubble Space Telescope. Gastellum became a teacher and financial consultant, and head of the Elisa Gastellum Foundation. The clips are from Daniel Buckley’s documentary The Mariachi Miracle, now in production, which will be released in spring of 2016. This vignette debuted at the 50th anniversary concert of America’s first youth mariachi, Los Changuitos Feos de Tucson, Az.

Founded in 1964 by Father Charles Rourke – a jazz pianist – as a CYO program intended to connect Mexican American youth with their culture, the grup has now gone through 13 generations of players and given away nearly half a million dollars in college scholarship funds. You can lean more about the group at




San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent of Schools Richard Carranza talks about his meeting in March 2015 with President Obama to discuss education policies, and how being a mariachi from childhood helped prepare him to advocate confidently for English Language Learners, arts education and more. The interview was conducted for Daniel Bucley’s film and book “The Mariachi Miracle,” currently in production for an April, 2016 release.



The Tucson International Mariachi Conference becomes the site where singer Linda Ronstadt fulfills a childhood dream, and in turn inspires a generation of young mariachi students. Linda Ronstadt shares her story, along with commentary from Becky Montano and Richard Carranza.



The 2015 Tucson International Mariachi Conference was dedicated to the late Nati Cano, leader of Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano. For roughly 25 year Cano lead the workshops at the conference, building an unshakeable bond with his students in the workshops, and with his partners on the stage. Here is a short reel of Nati in his own words describing what is most important to him.



A quick look at the Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo High School (Tucson, Az) visit to the San Francisco Unified School District.



Monica Treviño performs “Ave Maria” at the funeral of Armando C. Gonzales. Mr. Gonzales was a beloved figure in the mariachi and folklorico communities of Tucson, Arizona and beyond. For over two decades he was the stage manager of the Tucson International Mariachi Conference. His funeral was held at San Augustine Cathedral in Tucson January 29, 2015.



The traditional Mexican “corrido” is a ballad – a story song, typically taken from real events. Backed by Mariachi Sonido de Mexico, Tucson’s Ballet Folklorico Tapatio takes on “El Corrido de Rosita Alvirez,” bringing the corrido to visual life. This excerpt was shot at the group’s 17th anniversary show at Pima Community College West Center for the Arts, 11/07/14.

~ by Daniel Buckley on September 24, 2015.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *