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Meet Fredd Sanchez of Mariachi Continental De San Diego in Chula Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Fredd Sanchez.

Fredd, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started playing mariachi when I was in high school while living in El Centro, California. At 17 I moved to San Diego and joined San Diego’s best Mariachi at the time, Mariachi Juvenil Mexicanisimo. After a few months of joining, the group disbanded and I decided to form Mariachi Continental de San Diego to keep playing and to start a new vision.

I started rehearsing with new musicians and shared with them what I would set us apart; we would rehearse weekly (no other groups were doing that at the time) and we would make our music as accessible to non-hispanics as possible. Mariachi was a music genre that is beloved by all, but most non-hispanic people didn’t know how to hire us, what to expect, or how to find us, so I started to advertise our services, and provided contracts and explained what steps were needed to be able to hire a mariachi as well as answered any questions our potential clients had. It sounds like basic customer service, but nobody was doing it at the time and still to this date, a lot of groups don’t provide the peace of mind that should be a given when hiring any type of entertainment.

After I formed the group, I went to college to become a music teacher and after many years, I am now celebrating my 11th year at the sweetwater Unified high school district as a Mariachi teacher, passing down the tradition to new students, and fostering a tradition of excellence for the new generations of musicians which will one day carry the torch of passion and respect for the music.

This March, Mariachi Continental de San Diego celebrated its 16th anniversary and I am proud to say that we are San Diego’s premiere Mariachi. Currently we are working on cultural shows to take on tour for multiple educational institutions.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Although the road hasn’t been smooth, I have never felt like I faced too many obstacles. The biggest obstacle was setting up all the legalities of a business since most groups operate as cash only. Outside of that, it was been a path of learning, and learning from our audiences.

We always try to incorporate technology to make our clients lives easier, so that was another obstacle. Learning how to use that technology to make ourselves more accessible and our music easier to share.

Mariachi Continental De San Diego – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Mariachi Continental de San Diego is a musical group that plays the whole gamut of events that range from incredibly intimate midnight serenades, to corporate events as well as concerts. We specialize in playing traditional mariachi songs, but we are versatile enough to play contemporary, jazz, and pop pieces as well. We have not only mastered the classics such a Veracruz, El Rey, Ella and el Son de La Negra, but can also do pieces such as New York New York, Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, Como Dios Manda, At Last, and many other.

The three things that make me the proudest is the quality of customer service and peace of mind that we provide our clients through the whole process, our professionalism and timeliness, as well as the respect with which we treat the music.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
We’ve done performances all over California and have shared the stage with some of the best mariachis in the world, and have backed up amazing singers, but to me the proudest moments come when we play a song and we see our clients start to dance, or when a sad ballad brings tears to someone’s eyes. Any time we get thank you notes from our clients I feel proud and get reminded why I founded the group.

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