Mariachi fanfare

USPS dedicated its colorful new Mariachi stamps on July 15 at the 30th annual Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque in New Mexico.

“The Postal Service is proud to unveil these new Mariachi stamps to celebrate the exuberant sounds of this music that is an integral part of Mexican American culture and has fans around the world,” said Peter Pastre, the Postal Service’s government relations and public policy vice president, who helped dedicate the stamps.

Joining Pastre for the ceremony were Monica Trujillo, educational and artistic director of Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque; Brian O’Connell of the Atrisco Cos., which runs the Mariachi Spectacular nonprofit; and Amelia Garcia, assistant principal of Ysleta High School in El Paso, TX.

“Through our music and the special memories evoked by these skillfully rendered works of art, it is our hope that each and every person that comes across these stamps can experience some of the magic that we get to experience with every note, lyric and nuance that is mariachi,” Trujillo said.

Each of the five stamp designs depicts a single mariachi dressed in distinctive, eye-catching garb — an outfit called a traje de charro. Each musician is playing one of five common mariachi instruments: a violin; a trumpet; a guitar; a guittaron, a form of bass guitar; and a vihuela, a round-backed guitar that often handles rhythm and syncopation duties.

The stamps were illustrated and designed by Rafael Lopez. Derry Noyes served as art director.

“You can’t sit still when you’re hearing mariachi music. It brings a smile to your face,” Lopez said in a short video on the Postal Service’s Facebook page.

“There’s a human quality to the music that makes you just tap your feet, smile — before you know it, you want to start yelling with them as well,” he said.

The distinctive Mexican musical tradition was placed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in 2011.

The Forever stamps will be issued in panes of 20 and sold in Post Offices and on

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