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This profile was last updated on 7/17/13  and contains information from public web pages.


Local Address:  Alice , Texas , United States
Mariachi Unlimited

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Alice High School
11 Total References
Web References
John Vela - Biography of a Mariachi Mentor, 22 Jan 2008 [cached]
John Vela, Mariachi (1/1-1/31)
John A. Vela is a 1976 graduate of Alice High School in Alice, Texas and All-State Timpanist under the direction of Mr. Bryce Taylor.
In 1981 Mr. Vela received a Bachelors of Music in Music Education.Mr. Vela has been a music educator for the past 26 years.He is in his 8th year as Director of Bands for San Diego I.S.D. in San Diego, Texas, where his bands have received numerous first divisions and sweepstakes awards in Marching, Concert, Sight-Reading and Mariachi.Mr. Vela is also a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association and the Association of Texas Small School Bands.
Mr. Vela has performed professionally for 30 years as a mariachi musician on violin, guitarrón, vihuela, and guitar.He has accompanied various ranchera singers such as Pedro Fernandez, Miguel Aceves Mejia, Felipe Arriaga, Sonia Rivas, Imelda Miller, and Janet Rodriguez.He has presented workshops, in conjunction with members of Mariachi Vargas and Sol de Mexico, at numerous mariachi festivals in Texas, New Mexico and California.Mr. Vela has also judged mariachi contests throughout Texas and has recently been a clinician for the Region XIV and XV All-Valley Mariachi.He has numerous mariachi arrangements and a beginner guitarrón book published by Southern Music Co., and also has various mariachi compositions, arrangements, and instructional videos published through his own company, Mariachi Unlimited.In addition to his musical career, Mr. Vela is an avid genealogist and a beginning luthier.In his spare time, he also enjoys fishing, collecting vintage mariachi/ranchera LPs and restoring vintage Ludwig drums.
San Diego High School, 15 June 2008 [cached]
John Vela
John Vela Band Director
ATSSB Region XIV Membership, 24 Feb 2009 [cached]
JOHN VELA 361-279-3544 ext. 238
MENC Collegiate: January 2008 NewsLink, 1 Jan 2008 [cached]
Mariachi mentor John Vela is the director of bands for the San Diego school district in Texas. He has performed for 30 years as a mariachi musician and is also a mariachi adjudicator and clinician. He has published mariachi arrangements, instructional videos, and a beginner guitarrón book.
May's Mariachi Mentor: John ... [cached]
May's Mariachi Mentor: John Vela
Mariachi Resources: Method Books and New Arrangements
John Vela
Do you have mariachi questions?MENC's mentors have the answers!The "Ask the Mentors" program provides a venue for MENC members to have their questions answered by experienced MENC mentors, who are available from September through May.This month's mariachi mentor is MENC Mariachi Advisory Committee Representative and Web monitor John Vela.
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