Mariachi Entertainment System fuses Mexican folk music

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“It’s so fun playing different chords, different progressions. You don’t generally see in traditional music,” she said. Mallén is a professional mariachi and has been playing for most of her adult life. San Antonians may even recognize her time playing at Spurs games. As much as she is a traditionalist, the music is an arrangement of “Gerudo Valley.” The song debuted on “Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” in 1998.

Mallén is a founding member of Mariachi Entertainment System. She’s known as Doomsday Lozano, according to her website bio. Ortiz is the musical director and writes arrangements for the band. He started playing mariachi in college and is a classically trained musician. 

“We’re finishing the last touches on a ‘Zelda’ album that we’re working on for release later this year,” Ortiz said.  “I started noticing mariachis were discredited a lot. I didn’t really feel like the stereotypes about mariachis were true, it wasn’t always five fat guys drunk in a bar sounding terrible,” Ortiz said. “There’s a lot of good musicians that play.”

Mallén does vocals, plays flute and vihuela. As founding member David Ortiz will tell you, she can pretty much do it all.  “Seeing the nostalgia in other people when they hear us, it’s a lot of fun,” Mallén said. 

“Video game music was also in that same category of not being legitimate by other classical musicians. I thought if I did both then others might see both are worthwhile endeavors,” Ortiz said.  Ortiz felt video game music was also lacking appreciation. 

“The minutia of getting a successful blend of styles like that is a delicate endeavor,” Ortiz said.  Although Ortiz won’t brag on every piece of the group’s work, he’s proud of the work they managed to do from separate studios.  MES has been around since 2015. Their YouTube channel showcases some of their live performances pre-pandemic that include venues like PAX South in San Antonio. Ortiz thought the YouTube channel was toast in 2020 but the group leveled up, releasing 20 videos last year. 

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