The band first performed at Pueblo, Colorado's Sacred Heart Cathedral in 1970, and has been playing at Masses ever since.
El Mariachi de Pueblo, a Mexican-styled band from Colorado that has exclusively performed at religious services, recently celebrated their 50th anniversary. The band, which has played in every Catholic Church in Pueblo, is made up of about 30 volunteer musicians, three of whom have been with them since their inception in 1970.
The Pueblo Cheiftain spoke with one of these founding members, Jack Quinn, who explained that the band was formed after Fr. Bob Leach, from Sacred Heart Cathedral, invited a mariachi band to play during Mass. The service was such a hit that the parishioners called for the formation of a house band.
Quinn told the Chieftain:
“Everyone loved it. After the Mass, Father Leach invited Mass participants to consider creating a mariachi of its own. We started out with 75 singers and musicians, which consisted of trumpets, violins, guitars and a single marimba. “Throughout the years, the sounds of vihuela, guitarron (bass guitar), flutes, clarinets, cymbals and kazoo have added to the flavor of the music.”
For 50 years El Mariachi de Pueblo has brought the church community together, drawing members from local parishes and families. The band is a staple of the Colorado state fair, and they never miss a Holy Day.
If you’re in Colorado and would like to check out one of their performances, you can find them every Sunday at Holy Family Church (9:30 a.m.) and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (11 a.m.). Yes, that’s right, the band runs across town every week so they can play at two different churches.