Hotel Mariachi


Hotel Mariachi - cover imageReview Excerpts

“An important cultural document on Mexican California life.”
NM Review of Books, Feb 10, 2014

. . . an awesome ethnography of the mariachis of Boyle Heights, with stunning photos giving readers a sense of place.” —Gustavo Arellano, Dec. 20, 2013,
Ask A Mexican’s Annual Christmas Guide.

Hotel Mariachi captures the soul of Los Angeles mariachi music. Its narratives and photographs lure the reader deep beneath the surface of the most beautiful popular music, the mariachi music that expresses the soul of Mexicano mestizaje.” —Jack Loeffler, author of La Música de los Viejitos.

“This book illustrates the broader flow of cultural history in Los Angeles through the particular—the story of place and what defines it. It addresses an important cultural niche that no other book on mariachi music covers.” —Daniel Sheehy, director and curator, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

“Boyle Heights, its plaza, and its mariachis, intimately entwined with the Cummings Hotel, represent one of the most important living repositories of cultural memory in Los Angeles. Hotel Mariachi belongs in the special company of recent works we might call a Latino school of urban studies.” —Victor Manuel Valle, professor of Ethnic Studies, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

“Hotel Mariachi: Urban Space and Cultural Heritage in Los Angeles is a book that operates in a critical and pivotal nexus. It could not be more necessary, urgent, timely or beautiful if it tried. At once scholarly and a divinely inspired treatise on the art and culture of mariachi, the book is also a love letter to the ghosts of mariachi music and the city of Los Angeles, historic Boyle Heights and those itinerant musicians who have yet to arrive . . . A complement to Kurland’s riveting family history and the poetically erudite essay by Enrique Lamadrid, which covers the history, the mechanics and lyrical truth inherent in mariachi music while illustrating the importance of the lesser known but no less important annual tribute to Santa Cecilia, Miguel Gandert delivers an array of modern-day musical saints with his honest, tender portraits. In page after page of indelible images, Gandert has absorbed the heart of mariachi and the psyche of a people.” —Abel Salas, Brooklyn & Boyle, November 2013