In the Mariachi sphere, Miguel Guzman, is a renowned Mariachi musician and educator, with 36 years experience as a professional musician and 30 years as a Mariachi educator. Violin is Guzman’s primary instrument but he is also fluent in vocals, guitarrón, vihuela, and guitar. Guzman’s musical schooling has its origins in trumpet, under Dr. Joseph Bellamah and classical violin under Genaro Ybarra and Cleo Aufderhaar of the San Antonio Symphony. Guzman also studied voice and composition under Iren Liden and Alice Gomez of San Antonio College. Born and raised in the culturally vibrant city of San Antonio, Guzman’s musical focus inevitably turned to Mariachi at the invitation of a high school band companion and Juan Ortiz of Campanas de America.
In his early career as a Mariachi musician, Guzman’s training comprised of participating in mariachi conferences and workshops as a student. His aptitude and expertise however, has been realized teaching and playing alongside the very same Mariachi groups he learned from at these conferences. This includes the genre’s top groups such as Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, Nuevo Tecalitlan and Mariachi Los Camperos among others. Guzman is a repeat instructor and performer at conferences such as the Tucson International Mariachi conference; Albuquerque Mariachi Spectacular; Guadalajara’s El Encuentro de Mariachi y Charreria; TMEA regional state clinics; New York Mariachi Conservatory and the Chicago Mariachi Project. This experience afforded Guzman the rare opportunity to train, teach and study under some of Mariachi’s most notable and skilled musicians, namely Rigoberto Alfaro, Jesus Guzman, Nati Santiago and Nati Cano – a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts.
As a public school Mariachi educator, Guzman taught pre-K – 12 with San Antonio ISD for 26 years. He taught and directed community Mariachi with the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Guzman has also taught or directed Mariachi at OLLU, San Antonio College, Texas Tech, UTRGV, and Texas State. He currently directs and teaches all Mariachi instruments at the Miguel Guzman Mariachi Conservatory. Regardless of age, skill, ability or socioeconomic makeup, Guzman always manages to develop award winning Mariachi programs, earning top honors and recognition through out the US.
As a musician, Guzman has distinctly accompanied Lucha Villa, Lola Beltran, Vicky Carr and Placido Domingo, among many others. Guzman is also a studio musician recording on “Siempre Selena” – Selena; Grammy nominated “Llegaron los Camperos” –Mariachi Los Camperos; Grammy nominated “Que Paso” – Little Joe; and Grammy winner “Sigue El Taconazo” – Chente Barrere. Guzman has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, Tonight Show, Tejano Music Awards, Jazz at the Lincoln Center, and Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara among other venues. His musical career has also taken him to stages in Kumamoto, Rome, and Madrid.
Presently, Miguel Guzman is the co-founder and musical director of San Antonio’s premiere Mariachi Los Galleros where he continues to cultivate and elevate Mariachi as a proper art form. Most currently, Guzman has been added as a lecturer in the School of Music at Texas State University.