Symphony Makes Latin Transformation For 'Fiesta Pops'

Apr 16, 2014

The San Antonio Symphony is back in action this weekend, but they're not going to sound like they usually do. They won’t be playing Beethoven, Brahms or Bach, this weekend Fiesta Pops events have a little more picante than that.

“Fiesta Pops is our official Fiesta event, annually," said San Antonio Symphony Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto.

“This is a concert that combines the greatest elements of Latin American culture and music," Fujimoto said. "So we have things such as mariachi music, and folklorico dancing, and we always have a headliner each year. This year we’re very honored to welcome the five-time Grammy Award winner Little Joe and his band, La Familia."

I noted that it must be tough, getting all those elements and a full orchestra onto the same stage.

“Oh, yeah, it is one of our biggest productions of the year, and it’s like a big party," she said. "The San Antonio Symphony is just so well-versed. One weekend they’re playing Beethoven and Tchaikovsky and another week, at least once a year, they put on their Latin hats and play all these dances. They are probably the best orchestra in the country at playing things like Moncayo's 'Huapango,' which is a piece of classical music but also like a second national anthem for Mexico."

I asked Fujimoto about the evening's other elements: Mariachi Campanas de America and the Guadalupe Dance Company.

"This is going to be one big party," she said. "And it’s going to be a lot of fun."