Gustavo Alcoser – voice
Gustavo was drawn to music at a very early age, singing throughout his primary and secondary schooling. After studying at Southwestern College, he received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from San Diego State University with a minor in Latin American Studies. Trained as a classical vocalist, Gustavo was a founding member of the SDSU Chamber Choir and the San Diego Pro Arte Voices professional choral ensemble, performing solos in major works such as Handel’s Messiah accompanied by SDSU’s Symphony Orchestra. He was also cast in SDSU Opera’s collegiate productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers. Gustavo is currently the lead vocalist and managing coordinator for the Latin ensemble Jarabe Mexicano. (Jarabe Mexicano, Cumbia del Sol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpv2JAPrj2Y)
Having grown up as a transborder resident of the San Diego-Tijuana region, Gustavo is also completing an interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree in Latin American Studies with a focus on transborder identity and its effects on gender, creative processes, and artistic performance. As a budding scholar, Gustavo has done extensive fieldwork on the cultural contributions of the descendants of African slaves to the Mexican cultural landscape as well as research on the effects of the Indigenist movement on Mexico’s Nationalist classical music of the 20th century.
Chris Behrens – guitar
A native of Southbay San Diego, Chris Behrens began playing music at Chula Vista Middle School where he took a beginning mariachi class and continued playing mariachi music at Chula Vista High School. After high school, Chris played guitarron for Mariachi Hidalguense and, later, Mariachi Diamante in 2012. In 2014, Chris moved to Denver, Colorado and continued working as a bass and vihuela player for various groups over the next two years. In early 2017, Chris returned to his hometown of San Diego to play for the group Jarabe Mexicano. With a passion for reggae and country music, Chris’ vocals are featured on the band’s rendition of “Get Up, Stand Up (Semillas)” and versions of classic American repertoire.
Mario Eguía – Mariachi, brass, voice, guitar
Mario Eguía began playing mariachi over 14 years ago and under the tutelage of Ruben Baldenegro, he was soon performing with professional mariachi ensembles in Mexicali, Imperial Valley, Coachella Valley, San Diego and Los Angeles areas. Mario has toured extensively in the Jalisco area performing as a guest mariachi and has participated numerous times in the Tucson International Mariachi Conference. In his years as a mariachi he has been privileged to have shared the stage with some of the most renowned mariachis such as Los Camperos de Nati Cano, Sol De Mexico, Nuevo Tecalitlan, and Mariachi Vargas.
Aside from over a decade of mariachi experience, Mario obtained an Associate in Arts in Music-Mariachi Specialization from Southwestern College in 2013. He currently attends SDSU as a music education undergraduate where he hopes to obtain his California single subject teaching credential in the near future
Victoria Eicher – violin, piano
Victoria Eicher grew up in Minneapolis and began playing violin at the age of 4 in the Suzuki program at MacPhail Center for the Arts. Victoria is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s School of Music where she studied with Mary West, Young-Nam Kim and Lea Foli. A scholarship recipient to the National Orchestral Institute (Baltimore), she has played under the batons of Kenneth Jean, Yoel Levi and Catherine Comet. Before moving to San Diego in 1993, Victoria was Assistant Concertmaster in the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
Currently, Victoria maintains a schedule of sonatas, piano trios, and quartet sessions with local musicians. She has performed with the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, Orquestra de Baja, Mariachi Champaña Nevin, Caprice Strings, and in chamber ensemble programs throughout San Diego. In 2010, Victoria opened her home studio for private lessons and joined the North Coast Strings staff as a violin coach for beginning adult students. As the Director of the City Heights Music School, Ms. Eicher steps into her lifelong dream of bringing together a diverse selection of musicians to inspire and encourage students of all ages through music.
Jim Guerin – piano
A native New Yorker, Jim Guerin has lived in San Diego since 1989 and runs his private music studio from his home in Golden Hill. He is a regular performer in the jazz and cabaret music scene in San Diego, and has served for the last three years as music and choir director for St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church.
As pianist and teacher, Mr. Guerin is a member of the Music Teacher Association of California and the Suzuki Music Association of San Diego, for which he is on the board of directors. His teaching is informed by his studies of injury free technique and supportive body movement with Nina Scolnick of UC Irvine and with George Fee in San Diego.
Working with children, Mr. Guerin has 7 years of elementary classroom experience at schools in San Diego and Chula Vista. His piano students learn improvisation and theory in addition to the classical repertoire. Serious students have been enrolled in the Certificate of Merit program. Through his studio he offers group classes, workshops and regular recitals. Jim is fluent in Spanish and has lived in Bogota, Colombia; his extra-curricular interests include yoga and progressive social change.
Ilana Queiroz – capoeira
Ilana believes: The more music and art, the better the world! I play percussion. My forte is rhythm. For the last few years I have been teaching Capoeira, an art form that includes singing, clapping, dancing, and playing instruments like the agogô, berimbau, atabaque, reco-reco and pandeiro. It is a group event from the Afro-Brazilian culture and fits all ages, shapes, and genders.
I have been working with children since 2000. I teach kids from Transitional Kindergarten all the way to adults. I speak Spanish, Portuguese, and French. Teaching for me is serious deal. I believe that the educator is one of the most important roles in a society. I really believe in art and its possibilities. Music is happiness, happiness is life. My husband plays the guitar and sings. We have a Bossa nova/Samba/contemporary Brazilian duo called Bossa Lounge Project. We play all around the city and outside of the city – from La Valencia, Stella Italian Restaurant at La Jolla Cove, to coffee shops like Kensington, Saint Tropez ( UTC), UCLA, and Los Angeles. I also play different gigs with different musicians. Flamenco Jazz at Café Sevilla San Diego, Long Beach and Riverside, R&B with Larry White (piano player and composer), and Cumbia, Salsa, and Brazilian music.
Alejandro Tapia – drums, guitar, voice
Alex now works at Bonita Vista Middle School where he teaches choral music, mariachi music, and guitar. He also plays percussion and guitar and is the technical coordinator for Jarabe Mexicano.
Shannon Yandall – violin
Shannon Yandall is a talented musician and strings teacher who shares her love of music with students of all ages across San Diego County. Shannon maintains a successful private studio and is an experienced classroom teacher having taught instrumental music in many area schools and districts including: The Montessori Institute of La Jolla, San Marcos School District, National City School District, Oceanside School District, and South Bay School District. Also, a passionate chamber music enthusiast and accomplished musician, Shannon performs frequently on violin, viola, and cello throughout Southern California. Shannon is the founder of String Savvy San Diego and violist in the San Diego String Quartet. Undaunted by music of any genre, she maintains a busy schedule between rehearsing, teaching, and performing in chamber ensembles, orchestras, and live music events across the county.