20th Annual Mariachi Festival held Sunday

As luck would have it, Sunday was the rain date organizers chose when they canceled last month’s 20th Annual Mariachi Festival because of weather. But with a wary eye to the sky, organizers promised that the show would go on - rain or shine. And that's music to the ears of diehard Mariachi fans.

Judith Kamel’s parents loved mariachi music. She still remembers the first festival they took her to in Las Vegas. "Amazing! I felt like I had never heard it before. I can still remember that feeling. And I thought, 'Oh, this is what I want to do.'"

Kamel says she then went to the Mariachi Festival in L.A.’s Boyle Heights and saw the first women’s mariachi group in the United States. "I was just blown away. It just reinforced how much I really wanted to be part of that genre!"

So she studied and practiced. A lot of luck, timing and rehearsals later, she became a member of that same pioneering ensemble, the Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles. "Yes! Isn’t that crazy?"

Kamel and the 11 other musicians with the Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles headlined with Mariachi Sol de Mexico at Sunday's 20th Annual Mariachi Festival. Some very young mariachi players helped them open the show.

The Mariachi Festival was Sunday, December 19 at the historic Mariachi Plaza at 1st Street and Boyle Avenue in Boyle Heights.

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