BIOGRAPHY

Mariachi Acero de Las Vegas’ 2018 concert series took director Erik Ramirez and its members to venues all across the United States. Mariachi Acero’s 2018 tour included performances in Chicago, Los Angeles, Reno, Milwaukee, and of course, Las Vegas, Nevada. Mariachi Acero performed at the 2018 Chicago Mariachi Festival at the Jay Pritzker Pavillion at Millennium Park this past June, before an audience of 25,000 Mariachi aficionados. Mariachi Acero de Las Vegas has shared the stage with the greatest Mariachi ensembles in the world including Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez, and Mariachi Los Camperos. They have also had the pleasure of accompanying top Latino artists such as Emmanuel, Jenni Rivera, Angeles Ochoa, Lorenzo de Monteclaro, Pancho Barraza, Maribel Guardia, Los Temerarios, Pablo Montero, Gerardo Ortiz, Voz de Mando, and Banda Limon to name few.  

 

Mariachi Acero de Las Vegas was founded in 2008 by Erik Ramirez. Mariachi Acero de Las Vegas received top accolades as 1st Place Grand National Champions at the 2012 and 2013 Mariachi Nationals hosted by Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez. They also went on to take 1st place at the 2014 Battle of the Mariachis at San Juan Capistrano Mission in California.

Erik Ramirez

Director/Founder

Instruments: Violin, Trumpet, Guitarron, Vihuela, Guitar, Vocals

Career: Music Educator for the Clark County School District, Music 

consultant for Music Education Consultants, Co-author of Simplemente Mariachi method book

High School: East Chicago Central High School (East Chicago, Indiana)

Colleges attended: Vandercook College of Music, Purdue University Calumet, University of Nevada Las Vegas, College of Southern Nevada, University of Phoenix, Seattle Pacific University

Start to music: 1990 Harrison Elementary School Orchestra (East Chicago, IN)

Prior Mariachi Experience: Mariachi Acero de East Chicago (Director: Larry Lane), Mariachi Plata de Las Vegas (Director: Javier Trujillo), Mariachi Nuevo (Director: Michael Sital)

Long term goal: Open a successful performing arts center and recording studio.

Hobbies: Music production, live sound, aviation, astronomy, riding motorcycles, fabrication, basketball, baseball, soccer, football. 

Biggest challenge: Mastering whatever instrument is currently needed for Mariachi Acero de Las Vegas. 

Most memorable Acero moment: Performing in front of 25,000 Mariachi aficionados at the 2018 Chicago Mariachi Festival at Millennium Park. 

Favorite Mariachi Songs: All of them... El Son de La Negra, Tu Recuerdo y Yo, El Pasajero, El Mercader, El Derrotado, Gracias

Nickname: E-rok, "E", Mister, Mister-Maestro, Eriberto

Colleges attended: College of Southern Nevada (Majoring in music theory and violin performance)

Start to music: 2006 JD Smith Middle School Mariachi (Las Vegas, NV)

Prior Mariachi experience: Mariachi Los Bravos (Directors: Daniel Gonzalez, Thomas Garibay), Mariachi Oro de Rancho (Director: Roberto Lopez), Mariachi Los Charritos (Director: Xavier Gastellum)

Long term goal: Establish a successful restaurant and music studio.

Hobbies: Writing music, playing music, playing Fortnite

Biggest challenge: Being patient at rehearsals and bringing my instrument to gigs.

Most memorable Acero experience: Touring every year

Favorite Mariachi song: Voy by Javier Solis

Nickname: JJ, Junior, Toto, JJ-CO

Juanjose Cortez

Section leader/assistant director

Instruments: Violin, Vocals

Career: Music Educator for the Clark County School District, Full time student

 

High School: Rancho High School

(Las Vegas, Nevada)

Jovanny Cortez

Instruments: Violin, Vocals

Career: Full time student, freelance musician

High School: West Prep Academy (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Colleges attended: CSN

Start to music: 2010 JD Smith Middle School Mariachi (Las Vegas, NV)

Prior Mariachi experience: Mariachi Los Bravos (Directors: Daniel Gonzales, Thomas Garibay) Mariachi Perla del Oeste (Directors: Fernando Aguilar, Erik Ramirez)

Long term goal: Work for NASA as an aerospace engineer.

Hobbies: Playing instruments, stargazing, sports, hanging out with my friends

Biggest challenge: Memorizing the lyrics to La Dueña de Peru.

Most memorable Acero experience: Going paintball shooting!

Favorite Mariachi songs: Juan Chrrasqueado, Payaso, Aguas de Invierno

Nickname: Geo, J-O-V-A-N-N-Y

Ignacio Zamora

Instruments: Violin, Vocals

Career: Full time student, freelance musician, Clark County Firefighter

Colleges attended: CSN

High School: Las Vegas Academy (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Start to music: 2009 JD Smith Middle School Mariachi (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Prior Mariachi experience: Mariachi Los Bravos (Directors: Daniel Gonzales, Thomas Garibay), Mariachi Internacional (Director: David Rivera)

Long term goal: Become an EMT. 

Hobbies: Soccer, weight training

Biggest challenge: ???

Most memorable Acero experience: ???

Favorite Mariachi songs: Motivos, De Que Manera te Olvido

Nickname: Nacho, Nachito

Michael Leal

Instruments: Violin, vocals

Career: Economics/math major

College attended: UNLV

High school: Las Vegas Academy (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Start to music: 2006 Bailey Middle School Mariachi (Las Vegas, NV)

Prior Mariachi experience: Mariachi de Bailey (Director: Erik Ramirez), Mariachi Internacional (Director: Michael Sital)

Long term goal: PhD in economics to teach and conduct university research.

Hobbies: Poker, watching sports, making beer, research

Biggest challenge: ???

Most memorable Acero experience: Winning 1st place at the Mariachi Nationals.

Favorite Mariachi songs: Anything Juan Gabriel

Nickname: Mike

Hector Flores

Instruments: Trumpet

Career: Student

College attended: Planning to attend EMT School

High school: Las Vegas Academy (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Start to music: 2014 Brinley Middle School Band (Las Vegas, NV)

Prior Mariachi experience: Mariachi Internacional (Director: David Rivera), Mariachi Herencia de Las Vegas (Director: Manuel Gomez)

Long term goal: To promote Mariachi music and become a music instructor, career in the medical field.

Hobbies: Playing music, dancing, volunteering at the hospital

Biggest challenge: Not falling when dancing the Caballo Dorado!

Most memorable Acero experience: Performing at Cielito Lindo Restaurant on Cinco de Mayo.

Favorite Mariachi songs: Las Rejas No Matan, Se Te Olvida, Abrazame Muy Fuerte

Nickname: ???

Yayre Ramirez

Instruments: Arpa, Vocals

Career: Student

College attended: planning to attend University of Nevada Reno

High school: Rancho High School (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Start to music: 2013 Monaco Middle School Mariachi (Las Vegas, NV)

Prior Mariachi experience: Mariachi Los Gavilanes (Directors: Ramiro Benavides, Yvette Sital, Daniel Valdez) Mariachi Oro de Rancho (Director: Roberto Lopez)

Long term goal: Become a veterinarian.

Hobbies: Traveling and roller skating

Biggest challenge: Living without Dutch Brothers and Starbucks!

Most memorable Acero experience: Watching the Canelo Alvarez fight with Los Camperos in Milwaukee.

Favorite Mariachi songs: Mariachi Sol de Mexico's Mexico Lindo y Jarocho

Nickname: Yay-Ray, Gary, Gary-analyze

Brandon Camacho

Instruments: Guitarron, Vocals

Career: Painter

College attended: Plan to attend the Las Vegas Metro Police Academy

High school: Sunrise Mountain High School (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Start to music: 2007 Von Tobel Middle School Mariachi (Las Vegas, NV)

Prior Mariachi experience: Mariachi Los Tigres (Director: Xavier Gastellum)

Long term goal: Become a police officer for Las Vegas Metro.

Hobbies: Hiking, going out with friends, playing guitar

Biggest challenge: ???

Most memorable Acero experience: Winning back to back grand championships at the Mariachi Nationals.

Favorite Mariachi songs: Ella Volvio, Alma de Acero, La Diferencia, Matalas

Nickname: Brian, Brando, Brando Jenkins

Benito Pineda

Instruments: Vihuela

Career: ???

College attended:

High school: Rancho High School (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Start to music: JD Smith Middle School (Las Vegas, NV)

Prior Mariachi experience: Mariachi Los Bravos (Directors: Daniel Gonzales, Thomas Garibay), Mariachi Oro de Rancho (Director: Roberto Lopez), Mariachi Azteca (Director: Fernando Aguilar)

Long term goal: ???

Hobbies: ???

Biggest challenge: ???

Most memorable Acero experience: ???

Favorite Mariachi sonsgs: ???

Nickname: Benitz, Benizzio

Edgar Gallegos

Instruments: Guitar, vihuela

Career: Musical INstructional Aide for Clack County School District

Colleges attended: College of Southern Nevada (Aviation/music major), UNLV

High school: Valley High School (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Start to music: 2005 K.O. Knudson Middle School Mariachi (Las Vegas, NV)

Prior Mariachi experience: Mariachi Los Pumas (Director: Michael Sital), Mariachi del Valle (Director: Noe Ramos)

Long term goal: Become a music educator, commercial pilot for an international airline.

Hobbies: Aviation, hiking, mountain biking, reading

Biggest challenge: ???

Most memorable Acero experience: playing in Newport Beach with Maestro Jose Hernandez and Tony Zuniga.

Favorite Mariachi songs: El Torero, El Gato Montes, Viva Autlan, Silverio Perez, El Raton, El Pasajero

Nickname: Casper, Casperin, Casperino

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