Hotel Mariachi: Urban Space And Cultural Heritage In Los Angeles

Hotel Mariachi: Urban Space And Cultural Heritage In Los Angeles; by Catherine L. Kurland and Enrique R. Lamadrid, photographs by Miguel A. Gandert, Introduction by Evangeline Ordaz-Molina; University Of New Mexico Press; $29.95; (ISBN: 978-0-8263-5372-6)
East Los Angeles is virtually alive with Latin culture, pulsing to the red-hot beat of the music and glowing with all of its vibrant colors. Such is the world in which you’ll find the famous Mariachi Plaza de Los Angeles, a very popular gathering place for Mariachi bands for over 50 years. It is located near the Boyle Hotel—it was constructed in 1889 by one of author Catherine Lopez Kurland’s ancestors—the landmark hotel marks the gateway to East Los Angeles. Known as the “Hotel Mariachi” the building resonates with decades of music and that is what makes it dear to the residents of the neighborhood.

Noted documentary and art photographer—as well as Professor and Director of Interdisciplinary film and digital media at the University of New Mexico—Miguel Gandert provides the beautiful collection of 90 halftone images for this book. The authors are the award-winning Executive Editor of Chronicles of the Trail Catherine L. Kurland and Professor and Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of New Mexico Enrique R. Lamadrid. Together they do a fabulous job exploring this unique neighborhood and the complex Mariachi culture that has taken root there.

Photo credit: Miguel A. Gandert: Violines volando / Violins in Flight, from Hotel Mariachi, University of New Mexico Press.