You can hear mariachi music and its distinctive sound at almost any destination in Mexico or popular Mexican restaurants in and around Arizona and New Mexico. Now you’ll be able to hear it right here in PebbleCreek, 2 - 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 24, when Antonio Navarro and his six-piece Mariachi Band plays at LifeLong Learning’s Sunday Series.

What exactly is mariachi?

Mariachi was recognized by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2011. The listing cites that: "Mariachi music transmits values of respect for the natural heritage of the regions of Mexico and local history in the Spanish language and the different Indian languages of Western Mexico."

The traditional mariachi band, wearing charro suits, was made up of at least two violins, a guitar, a guitarrón (large bass guitar) and a vihuela (similar to a guitar but with a rounded back). Typical bands also include trumpets and sometimes a harp. One or more of the musicians usually sing.

Since the early 1900s, the charro suit that mariachis wear consists of a waist-length jacket, bow tie, fitted pants, short boots and a wide-brimmed sombrero. The suits are elaborately decorated with silver or gold buttons and embroidered designs. According to legend, they used to wear plain clothing associated with campesinos or laborers, but President Porfirio Diaz wanted the musicians playing at an important event to wear something special, so they borrowed the costumes of a group of Mexican cowboys, thus starting the custom of mariachi bands dressing in the clothing typical of the charros.

Mariachi, said to have originated in the state of Jalisco, in the city of Cocula, near Guadalajara, is now popular throughout Mexico and the Southwest U.S. and is considered representative of Mexican music and culture. Mariachi bands are almost always present at important events in Mexican family life.

Come to hear the six piece Mariachi Band assembled by Antonio Navarro and enjoy a typical Mexican treat with your tea.