The National Museum of Mexican Art will be closed on Wednesday, June 19th in observation of Juneteenth. 

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Mariachi Potosino The Sound of Home

February 24 – November 10, 2024 Xicágo Gallery
Mariachi Potosino marching in the Mexican Independence Day Parade on Michigan Ave late 1960. Photo courtesy of Cristina A. Cabrera

This one-of-a-kind exhibition recounts the story of José Cruz Alba (1918-2002) and his immigrant journey from Durango to Chicago. Archival photographs, video, newspaper clippings and family interviews trace his life’s work with Mariachi Potosino, from its founding in 1958 until it disbanded in 2019. During those years, Mariachi Potosino became an integral part of family celebrations, community events, city parades, protests and political gatherings in Chicago Mexican communities and beyond. The music he carried became a flag of identity, an immediately identifiable cultural touchstone and a bridge to home.

Most of what has been written about the history of Mariachi in the US does not recognize Midwestern states and cities like Chicago as important centers of Mariachi performance. Mariachi Potosino’s musical journey helped establish Mariachi as an important and unique musical genre, while paralleling the growth of Mexican cultural identity across the entire country.

Co-curated by Rita Arias Jirasek and Roberto Vargas

Artists include:

Manuel B. Alamillo
Adalberto Barrios (1924-1976) 
María Gaspar
Rogelio "Sordo" Obregón (1923 - 1986)
Salvador Vega
Roberto Vargas
Foto Garza
Photography Rojas


The Joyce Foundation
Prince Charitable Trust
The Chicago Park District
Illinois Arts Council