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"I've been working on this with them for six months or so," Jeff Nevin says. Them, meaning San Diego Opera management. "Actually, I first met with them last February."

The result is Mariachi Week, which has been going on all this week with performances in Old Town. Mariachi Week culminates this Saturday with a performance by Mariachi Garibaldi, home based at Southwestern College near the Otay Mesa.

Jeff Nevin, a mariachi trumpet player himself teaches music classes along with the fine art of making mariachi at Southwestern College, which offered the world’s first college degree in mariachi music.

"Three of my students are mariachi teachers," he says, "and they in turn brought their students.

"All of this has been organized by the San Diego Opera," he says, "in preparations for Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. They will be performing Pepe Martinez's groundbreaking new opera "Cruzar la Cara de la Luna" at 2 pm and 7 pm on Saturday, March 16.

"Saturday, we (meaning the Southwestern College group) perform outside, in between Opera presentations."

Mariachi Garibaldi will perform at 5 p.m. on Saturday 3/16 outside on the Civic Theater plaza, 3rd Avenue and "B" Streets, downtown San Diego. Free. For more information: http://sdopera.com/Mariachi/

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