Mariachi greats Campanas de América to headline Opera's Musica Variada concert

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

One of the country's top mariachi bands will headline Amarillo Opera's traditional Musica Variada concert Saturday.

Campanas de América, a San Antonio-based maricachi band, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Buchanan St. 

The concert is part of the Opera's community outreach, said David O'Dell, Amarillo Opera general director.

"We're trying to make sure that everybody has access so that opera becomes part of the lasting cultural fabric of the community," he said.

Campanas de América is "one of the finest mariachis in the country and probably the leading mariachi in the state of Texas," O'Dell said.


Founded in 1978 by Juan and Belle Ortiz (the latter of whom inspired the group's name, which translates to "Bells of America"), Campanas de América incorporates diverse instruments like the harp, accordion, keyboards and a full drum kit into its sound. The band has performed on Austin City Limits and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Juan Ortiz has won a Grammy Award and a Latin Grammy Award for his work with Little Joe y La Familia on Recuerdos

Campanas de América

They previously performed in Amarillo at Musica Variada concerts in 2009 and 2012. The band also will perform for area schoolchildren at 10 a.m. Friday.

"I'm particularly looking forward to that (school concert) because these guys are really, really crackerjack music educators," O'Dell said. "They have a passion for mariachi, they have a passion for music, and they have a passion for getting kids to stay in school and complete their education."

Tickets are $20. Call 806-372-7464 or 806-378-3096, or visit


Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and at on Facebook.

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