There are only two kinds of music...


There are only two kinds of music that move Joe Ortiz to tears.

“A certain emotional switch is turned on when you sing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at ballgames--and when you play mariachi music,” he said.

The latter genre also brings back Ortiz’s memories of the tunes he heard while growing up in Southern California’s Coachella Valley.

Ortiz, head of a Los Angeles public relations firm, is helping to organize a mariachi concert that, he hopes, will put hundreds of people in touch with the music that has inspired generations of Mexicans and Mexican-



On Friday at the Industry Hills & Sheraton Resort, six mariachi groups--including noted musician Beto Huizar--

will give guests a taste of “the heart and soul of Mexican music,” Ortiz said. Other groups will perform various song and dance numbers.

The audience will also be treated to a narration of the history of mariachi, which began in the Mexican state of

Jalisco during the 1800s. There are three theories on the origins of the word mariachi , which will be explained during the concert.

“As the Latino community is emerging on the local and national scene, mariachi plays an important part in that culture,” Ortiz said. “Mariachi is a medium to relate frustrations, disappointments, love. We want people to walk away just being totally jazzed.”

The concert--which includes dinner--will benefit United Community Services Inc., a job counseling and training organization.

The event will be held in the main ballroom of the Industry Hills & Sheraton Resort, 1 Industry Hills Parkway in the City of Industry.


Cocktails will be served starting at 6 p.m., and dinner begins at 7. Musical performances will run from 8 to 11 p.m. Tickets cost $30, $50 and $100, depending on nearness to the stage. They may be reserved by calling (213) 264-2020, or purchased at the door.