Mariachi Champana Nevin
There's your everyday mariachi -- you know, the ones who competently perform as background during your meal at Casa de Bandini -- and then there's Mariachi Champana Nevin, who play lush interpretations of Vivaldi and Rachmaninoff in addition to their repertoire of traditional Mexican music. The group is led by mariachi trumpeter Jeff Nevin, an assistant professor of music at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. While many members of his ensemble are lifelong mariachi musicians, others have been principal string and brass players for professional orchestras including the San Diego Symphony and Orquesta Sinfonico Nacional de Mexico. Joined by Guadalajara-born opera singer, Florencia Tinoco Barone, their music sends tingles down your spine. As she sings arias from La Boheme and Spanish classics like "Granada," Barone's coloratura soprano voice rises above the strumming guitars, violins, and trumpets.