“The Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Mariachi!’ concert May 1 is a homecoming for musician Erik Ramirez, who grew up in northwest Indiana and graduated from East Chicago Central High School,” writes Jeff Banowetz in Wednesday’s (4/20) Elgin Courier-News (IL). “It’s where he developed his love of mariachi music…. He now returns to the Chicago area [as the leader of] one of the country’s top mariachi bands, the Nevada-based Mariachi Acero de Las Vegas, which will join the Elgin Symphony for a performance at the Hemmens Cultural Center. ‘Combining a symphony with a mariachi band isn’t as crazy as it sounds,’ Ramirez said. ‘They complement each other very well.’ … Ramirez founded Mariachi Acero de Las Vegas in 2008…. He’s shared the stage with some of the world’s best mariachi ensembles. The show in Elgin will be led by guest conductor Richard Mizell, who for 37 years was a senior music producer for the Walt Disney Company. He also has worked extensively with EPCOT’s Mariachi Cobre in Orlando, another of the county’s top mariachi groups…. ‘Mariachi is the life of the party…. There’s a mariachi song for every occasion and for every sentiment, whether it’s love or heartbreak,’ Ramirez says.”