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San Diego Mariachi Bands Struggle, Adapt To Pandemic Conditions

Mariachi musicians wear masks amid the new coronavirus pandemic as they play a serenade at Garibaldi square, now empty of visitors, in Mexico City, Thursday, May 14, 2020.
Associated Press
Mariachi musicians wear masks amid the new coronavirus pandemic as they play a serenade at Garibaldi square, now empty of visitors, in Mexico City, Thursday, May 14, 2020.
Before the pandemic, the sound of mariachi was synonymous with parties, gatherings and celebrations. Now, with restrictions on in-person gatherings, San Diego's mariachi bands have had to adapt and change their business models to survive.

For many, mariachi is the music of love, of family, of happiness and of sadness. Now, it’s the music that seems to have survived against the odds from the struggles of the pandemic.

San Diego’s mariachi bands have endured a year of cancelled concerts and closed venues. Groups accustomed to performing at weddings and celebrations of life have seen much of their music played, instead, at funerals.

Now, as people cautiously begin to gather again, mariachi bands are regrouping and bringing their music back with them.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Andrea Lopez-Villafana joined Midday Edition on Tuesday to discuss the many difficulties that have befallen San Diego’s mariachi bands since the pandemic began.