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Nochebuena at Musco Center for the Arts Celebrates the Season in a Uniquely Mexican American Way

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Dancers from Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles perform in "Nochebuena: Christmas Eve in Mexico." Credit: Photo courtesy of Musco Center for the Arts

It’s important for Jimmy Cuéllar and Kareli Montoya to carry on the tradition of mariachi and folklórico. But the husband and wife duo do so in a way that truly highlights their past and their present.

Their identity as artists and as human beings shape the shows they create for Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar and Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles, respectively. “Nochebuena: Christmas Eve in Mexico,” which is returning to Musco Center for the Arts for the fourth year, is no exception.

“This is truly, truly a Mexican American show,” Montoya said. “We try to bring Christmas to the crowd here in the U.S. and we do that through a fusion of musical styles and traditions.”

This year’s show takes place on Dec. 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m., the second show recently being added due to high demand.

“Celebrating Nochebuena with these two phenomenal ensembles has become a favorite annual tradition at Musco Center,” said Jen Marchese-Ernst, director of programs and public engagement. “The lobby just bursts with festive joy, especially after the performance when members of the cast show off their exquisite costumes for photos with the audience.”

“Nochebuena” is named after the tradition of Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve, where Mexican families attend midnight Mass before returning home to a late-night feast and celebration. In Mexico, Christmas is not just a single day but a whole season of Christmas-related festivities. Today, the Christmas traditions in Mexico are a blend of indigenous culture, Spanish heritage and many other influences.

This full story can be accessed for free in its entirety at Voice of OC.



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