Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) celebrated the close of Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting Las Vegas High School Mariachi Joya at the U.S. Senate and presenting them with a Congressional Record Statement honoring their cultural contributions to the U.S. The ensemble played for Senator Cortez Masto, Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Nevadans in the United States Senate, before touring the U.S. Capitol.
“My grandfather used to play the guitar for me and my sister when we were little, and I know musical ensembles like Mariachi Joya are so important to families across our state and the country. That’s why I’m proud to bring these students to our nation’s capital to highlight our Latino community and our impact on this country,” said Senator Cortez Masto.
Composed of 20 young Latino artists playing the guitarron, violins, and trumpets, Mariachi Joya is known as America’s premiere mariachi youth ensemble. It has been recognized by the Grammy Awards and performed virtually for the President’s Inauguration. They are part of a growing Mariachi student program in Southern Nevada, where the first high school mariachi program started in 2002 with only 250 students and expanded to 7,000 students today.
“We’re so grateful to Senator Cortez Masto for opening the halls of Congress to our young students and allowing them to showcase their talent,” said Stephen Blanco, Las Vegas High School Mariachi Joya Director. “Mariachi music is a longstanding tradition in our Latino community, and it helps our young students build key skills to follow their dreams. The kind of support the Senator provides makes a great difference in their lives.”
A third generation Nevadan, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is the first and only Latina in the U.S. Senate. She is leading the charge in Congress to build the National Museum of the American Latino, which would recognize and commemorate the history and achievements of Latinos in the U.S.