Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Secrets of a Mariachi Violinist Paperback – October 1, 2016
|New from||Used from|
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
D.R. (Diane Renée) Ransdell is a writer, musician, teacher, and traveler. Originally from Springfield, Illinois, she started playing the violin at the age of ten. After majoring in Spanish she spent five years teaching English in Durango, Durango, Mexico. When she returned to the US, she moved to Tucson because of its warm climate and friendly Hispanic population. Two months later she joined a mariachi and has played Mexican music ever since. She writes a murder mystery series about mariachi band leader Andy Veracruz and travel novels about violinist Rachel Campanello and her sister Gina. D.R. teaches writing at the University of Arizona, where she specializes in composition for international students. She also mentors graduate students. She spends summers traveling, but in Tucson you’ll find her at the pool or in her backyard rescuing lizards from her cats. Please visit her website at dr-ransdell.com or shoot an email to email@example.com.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $1.99 (Save 72%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The author got a college degree in Spanish and took a job teaching English in Durango, Mexico. Friends took her along to clubs and bars where she learned to love Mariachi, the high sweet melodies of the trumpets, the romance of the soaring strings. Most of the players were men and they were all Mexican. She made friends with some of the players but never tried to perform.
After five years, tired of being too poor to visit her family in Illinois, she moved to Tucson, began playing with the symphony there and teaching English as a Second Language at the University. But she missed the good times in Mexico and began to seek out places where Mariachi was performed. When her nostalgia reached fever pitch, she screwed up her courage and asked for a job.
The rest of the book describes her struggles to become proficient at a fiendishly difficult art form. Nothing was written down, there were hundreds of songs, and even long-time players often disagreed about tempi and lyrics. They played indoors and out in all weather, often late at night, sometimes in rooms so crowded they risked poking bows into celebrants ears. But the enthusiasm of the crowds was catching; she persevered and soon played regularly at a restaurant named El Mariachi.
That restaurant closed recently and D. R. is too busy to play much anymore, but the effort wasn’t wasted. She now writes a humorous mystery series about a Mariachi player named Andy Veracruz. Her latest title is “Dizzy in Durango,” and you will want to read it as soon as you finish this warm and funny memoir.
Another great part of this book that the title does not convey is that she is also a teacher, and her insights into teaching and university student/teacher life are very true and refreshing. While the focus is on her mariachi experience, parts of her life that are intertwined with it (such as teaching and dating) are included, and this helps round out the stories she relates.
My final note would be to mention the insight this gives into what it's like to be someone who is enmeshed in a culture they love, even when they're not genetically tied to it, as well as showing others who are bi-cultural and how they navigate the world.
I received a copy thru a Goodreads Giveaway.