Trumpet player, recording artist and restaurateur Ariel de la Rosa started learning mariachi music from his father at the age of four. He is a fourth generation mariachi musician whose musical lineage goes back to his great-great-grandfather, Ines Renteria, who formed one of the first bands in the mountains of Jalisco, Mexico, and his grandfather, Lorenzo De la Rosa, who brought his Mariachi sound to the border area of Baja California.
He toured and recorded with his uncle Jose Hernandez’ band, Mariachi Sol de Mexico, and has performed with such Latin icons as Celia Cruz, Jose Jose, El Puma, El Buki, Vicky Carr and Ana Gabriel. He performed at the Latin Grammys in 2004 and provided back up vocals for the Mamas and the Papas on John Phillip’s last album.
De la Rosa has performed in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and in 2008, he toured in the mariachi band for Linda Rondstadt’s “Canciones de mi Padre” tour. He performed at the Alma Awards and was featured in the International Mariachi Festival ’08 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
He was born in Tijuana. The first instrument his father taught him to play was the vihuela, a small Mexican guitar. From the ages of four to eight, he also learned how to play the violin, guitarron and trumpet. He soon began composing his own music.
“I went to a private middle school and, since it was a small school, we didn’t have music there,” said De la Rosa. “But I would get together with my friends who went to school there and we would play ball. I taught one of my friends to play a couple songs on the guitar and I would play trumpet. Pretty soon we had our own band and would play in restaurants, concerts and private parties.”
His father, also named Ariel De la Rosa, and his uncles, called the Hernandez Brothers, introduced their music to the United States during the ‘70s. He also worked extensively in the Chula Vista area near San Diego.
Moving to the desert in 2000, De la Rosa opened a family-run restaurant with his mother and a partner in 2006 called Serenata Mexican Bar and Grill in Palm Desert. He created his band, Mariachi Serenata Mexicana, to perform during the weekends at the restaurant. The group is also available for private functions. When they perform, the band is dressed in the traditional Charro or Mexican cowboy outfit usually adorned with silver buttons and decorative stitch work, which is worn by mariachi musicians.
De la Rosa has produced a CD entitled “Mariachi de Corazon,” which is available for purchase and encompasses all the professional musical experience that he has gained throughout the years. “I sing on the album and I multi-tracked my trumpets so it sounds like three trumpets.” His group consists of three violin players, a guitarron, vihuela and De la Rosa on trumpet.
Combining his world-class Mexican food with his world-class mariachi music, De la Rosa has hit on an idea which truly resonates with the heart, or as it is pronounced in Spanish, “corazon.”
Instruments: trumpet, vihuela, violin, guitarron and voice
Genre: Traditional Mexican and Mariachi music