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VALLEY WEEKEND : FRIDAY : MARIACHI KING

Singer Vicente Fernandez will perform three nights at the Universal Amphitheatre this weekend. Fernandez is famous for singing rancheras, a Mexican-ballad style roughly akin to country music that celebrates the unpretentiousness, warmth and dignity of common working people.

Since 1968, Fernandez has become an international star with numerous gold and platinum records. His most recent album is “Aunque Me Duela el Alma” on Sony Records. Victor Valle, writing for The Times in 1988, said that Fernandez’s rancheras “fatalistically affirm a man’s honor and word in the face of death and calamitous love.” For Mexicans, Valle contended, “his songs are nothing less than heroic metaphors of survival.”

* Vicente Fernandez will perform at 8:15 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Universal Amphitheatre, 100 Universal City Plaza. Tickets: $45-$50. Call (213) 480-3232.


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