Adolfo Estrada is an Assistant Professor in the School of Music and Director of Latin Music Studies at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. His research focuses on historical and contemporary mariachi performance practice. Utilizing Victor Turner’s notion of communitas, his dissertation, “Ritual and Meaning in the Mariachi Festival Movement of the United States,” explores communitas and the liminal spaces within various components of the U.S. mariachi festival movement. He has presented his research at the national meetings of the Society for American Music and the Society for Ethnomusicology. Most recently, he served as a model for the 2022 USPS Mariachi Forever® stamp series.
As a Latin American music specialist, his primary geo-cultural expertise is in Mexico and its diasporas in Latin America and the United States. Musical performance is a central component of his research and teaching. As an avid performer on guitar, he has played with mariachi ensembles in both Mexico and the United States. For the past twenty years, he has had the opportunity to study classical guitar and mariachi guitar with prominent guitarists. For mariachi, he has studied with Rigoberto Alfaro (Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán also a renowned arranger who has written for famous singers like José Alfredo Jiménez, Joan Sebastian, Rocío Dúrcal, Vicente Fernández), Rafael Palomar (Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán), and Jesús “Chuy” Hernández (Mariachi Sol de México® de José Hernández). His classical guitar studies were under the direction of Peter Terry Muska and Matthias Lang.