Talk Music: Jimmy Gonzalez headlines Cinco de Mayo festival

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

April 30, 2014 at 3:05 p.m.
Updated April 29, 2014 at 11:30 p.m.

Jimmy Gonzalez of Jimmy Gonzalez Y Grupo Mazz.

Jimmy Gonzalez of Jimmy Gonzalez Y Grupo Mazz.

The sound of mariachi music, the aroma of warm tamales and an ambiance of celebration will immerse downtown Victoria on Saturday for the annual Cinco de Mayo festival.

Organized by the Minority Business Council of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, the all-day event highlights Hispanic culture, featuring family-oriented traditions, food, crafts and live music.

Mario Vallejo, president of the minority business council, caught up with Get Out to talk about all you need to know before heading out to la celebracion.

You've been involved with the planning of this event for the past seven years. How will this one compare to previous events?

Every year, we pride ourselves in giving the community a good mix of entertainment. That being said, we're having some good local entertainment with The Krystals, and we're excited to have them come back. They always bring a good local crowd, and they're great performers and musicians. We also have another local band called A.S.G. Los Amigos. They're a young, up-and-coming band, and they're starting to make their mark on the area.

Jimmy Gonzalez Y Grupo Mazz is our headliner. They have a very strong regional following, and we're very excited to have them on board. Chente Barrera is also very popular, and Vallejo is kind of a Latin rock band out of Austin.

How do you pick which acts to bring to town?

The minority business council has a committee, and we all talk about it and see who's going to draw a lot of people.

We try to get a mixture of entertainment.

We'll have mariachi, the ballet folklorico and kids and adult zumba dancers, so that's going to be really cool.

We had a change in the lineup. Grupo Fama, who performed here about a month ago, did really well, and so we brought them back from Houston.

Where do you see this music festival fitting in with the downtown music scene?

One thing I will say about Victoria is in the last couple of years, there's been a really big push for a lot of our local music.

You always hear Victoria being the Crossroads and this and that. There's BootFest and Jam Fest and all those festivals Frank Salazar puts on.

What we pride ourselves in is all the proceeds and any profits we make go back to the community in college scholarships. We take pride in celebrating the Cinco de Mayo and giving the community a look at the Hispanic culture.

How many scholarships have been given out because of this event?

We've given out more than $70,000 worth of scholarships in the past, anywhere from $500 on up. We want to help as many kids as we can.

Just recently, we gave a grant to Grants for Great Ideas to Victoria ISD.

We're hoping to be very successful in this year's event and give scholarships out in the fall.

What's your connection to the entertainment business? Do you play music as well?

My boys play in 24-7, and I've been in music all my life.

What was playing in your house when you were a kid?

A little bit of everything - Tejano and old school music my parents listened to. The music has always been a part of my life.

Anything else you'd like to add?

There's going to be great food, lots of food vendors, music ranging from mariachi to Latin rock to Tejano, and some of the biggest names in Tejano are going to be here.

Hopefully, we'll have a nice, cool day, and the sun will be out.

We pride ourselves in being a family event. We have a kids' area, the kids' train, inflatables and face paint.

There are a lot of local businesses who are helping out to underwrite this, including Hartman Distributing and Dos XX, H-E-B coming on board and Del Papa Distributing.

It's a team effort to have a successful event. There are a lot of volunteers helping. It's just great to be working with a team of folks who want to give back to the community.



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