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“Tradición del Suelo Mío”

Alvaro Paulino Jr.’s mariachi suit hangs in the Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino’s office in Brooklyn, NY. Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. Photo by Jose Balderrama.

New York’s “Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino” is a Mariachi band based out of Brooklyn, New York. They were established in 1983 by Alvaro Paulino, years after he moved to the United States. He and his son Alvaro Paulino Jr. now play together, with his son taking most of the singing duties. 

With Paulino Jr. taking control of musical direction, the band has continued to share the stage with world famous artists and perform at distinguished venues and events. On Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, they performed with Camila Cabello during the NBC special Michael Bublé’s Christmas in the City, where she sang “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

The band is linked with The New York City Mariachi INC, which serves as an outlet for them to teach Mariachi music to aspiring musicians, both kids and adults. 

“My vision is that the public, students and professional musicians are able to develop, promote and preserve this valuable musical tradition, “El Mariachi!”” said Paulino Jr. 

Not only have they had the chance to play in the tri-state area and the states surrounding it, but they have also had the opportunity to perform internationally, including places like Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cayman Islands, Panama, and Costa Rica.

They play at various venues throughout the week, on average playing about 30 hours a week. However, there are busier times throughout the year where they can perform for up to 40 hours a week.

Paulino Jr. knows that it is important to be able to make a living but he and the band are not in it for the money.

“I do it for the passion I have for the music,” said Paulino Jr. “I don’t worry about the money, but the love for the music and being able to follow such a rich tradition is why I do it.” 

The band and guests at the party toast to Benito Oliviera on his birthday. Nov. 21, 2021. Photo by Jose Balderrama

Benito Oliviera and a family member dance at his party while Alvaro Paulino Jr. plays the Violin. Oliviera enjoyed his party by asking multiple family members to dance while the Mariachi played. Nov. 21, 2021. Photo by Jose Balderrama

Armando Sanchez plays the Mexican guitarrón at Benito Oliviera’s birthday party. Nov. 21, 2021. Photo by Jose Balderrama

Benito Oliviera and Alvaro Paulino Jr. embrace. He was moved to tears by their performance at his birthday party. Nov. 21, 2021. Photo by Jose Balderrama

The Mariachi band performs at Elizabeth Martinez’s quinceañera while she dances with her mom. Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Photo by Jose Balderrama

Cristian Paez sings while the band plays at a baby shower. Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Photo by Jose Balderrama

Cristian Paez holds his violin as the band takes a break between songs. The mariachi suit design includes horses on each pant leg. Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Jose Balderrama

A couple dances while the band plays a song they requested at the baby shower. Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Photo by Jose Balderrama

Alvaro Paulino Jr. plays the trumpet at the baby shower. Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Photo by Jose Balderrama

The band plays at Francisco Paredes’ birthday while he and his wife, Ana Lilia Paredes dance. Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. Photo by Jose Balderrama

The band walks to their second event of the night in Brooklyn, NY. Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Photo by Jose Balderrama