We had the good fortune of connecting with jannette castaneda-lopez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi jannette, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
Mariachis tend to accompany families during meaningful milestones; Birthdays, Weddings, Funerals etc. The biggest gift, and what makes me the happiest, is the ability to share these moments with so many families.
I often help clients plan surprise birthday serenades, and seeing the recipients face light up when they hear the music and see us, is something I will never tire of witnessing. My absolute favorite is serenading Moms. They shed the sweetest, happiest tears at the gesture from their children/husband. Milestone moments bring out the best in people, and us Mariachis are so lucky to witness it.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Mariachi Show Gallos Reales is a six-member Mariachi ensemble serving Los Angeles. Most members in our Mariachi are family, with some being 3rd generation Mariachis. We are happily female-led and have three female members in the group. Girl power! We take pride in being community oriented; throughout the year we offer complimentary performances for good causes and make donations to local organizations.
We are most excited about an upcoming project we have with the Department of Cultural Affairs; a memorial song for an East LA gentleman who unfortunately passed due to covid-19. The project will involve artists in other mediums and we are so proud a Mariachi was chosen as a grant recipient! We typically specialize in private events, so working on this multimedia project is new and so exciting!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would say that breakfast at Antigua Bread in El Sereno is a must! The breakfast chapin with a strong coffee is perfect. Another amazing place is La Cocina which is located just down the street from Antigua. Get yourself a gordita de carnitas and a freshly made fruit water (the flavors always change!) Now, to walk some of that off, let’s head to a garden! I LOVE gardens. The Huntington Library is so unique beautiful that almost anyone would like it. Oil paintings, sculptures, beautiful architecture, nature…there is something for everyone. There is nothing like this place, perfect for a sunny California day. Bonus garden: Armstrong Garden center in Pasadena. It’s a nursery, but like, a really nice nursery.
I also love a good treasure hunt, and a great place to go for that is St Vincent de Paul thrift store near Lincoln Heights. It is huge!
Last but not least, you can find fun, music, cool stuff to buy and more in Boyle Heights, right by Mariachi Plaza. 1st st and Boyle! Latinx drag at Noa Noa Place, Morrisey-Kareoke at Eastside Luv, art shows at Espacio 1839… I love Boyle Heights! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to the Mariachi musicians of East Los Angeles, especially my father. He is an amazing funny and generous man who has been playing Mariachi music in Los Angeles for more than 30 years. I am thankful he showed me his trade, and taught me that it is possible to provide for yourself and family through music, if you work hard enough.