ATLANTA - Mariachi band born on local college campus:
Some of the greatest bands in history formed on college campuses, spanning musical genres from rock to hip-hop to country.
And thanks to some extremely talented musicians at one local university, we can add another genre to the list: Mariachi.
Mariachi Búhos de Oro (which translates to Golden Owls, a nod to the band members' alma mater) is made up of metro Atlanta natives who met as music students at Kennesaw State University.
"For Day of the Dead at Kennesaw State University, they needed a mariachi band to play, but we didn't have the funds that year to hire one," says Alejandro Sifuentes, who plays vihuela and sings for the group. "So, I looked around at my friends...I was like, 'Let's go ahead and form a mariachi band. I have a guitar, we have some music online, let's do it!’"
Since 2015, the group has grown to about seven active members and has played gigs throughout the Southeast, serving as a soundtrack to life’s most memorable moments.
"We play anything from very, very early morning serenades, to weddings, to birthday parties, quinceañeras ... I mean, you name it," says violinist Jonathan Urizar.
Adds Carolina Sifuentes, who plays the guitarrón, "I love seeing people cry when we surprise them with music; especially, like, Mother's Day. Their sons or daughters will hire us, and then we'll wake her up, and she'll just start crying."
Band members say that emotional response is the power of this cherished Mexican musical genre, a result of its unique instruments and bold, romantic vocal style.
And for the KSU grads, the music provides something of continued education.
"This was a hundred percent new to me, and it was very much different from anything I had ever done," says Brandon Austin, who plays trumpet.
For more information on Mariachi Búhos de Oro, click over to the band’s website here or Facebook page here. And, to hear them live, they’ll be spending their Cinco de Mayo evening playing at Chef Smokey’s ATL in Austell (from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.).
Actor and singer Terron Brooks looks ahead to "Tomorrow":
He’s conquered the Broadway stage in hits like "The Lion King," and the screen with the blockbuster miniseries "The Temptations." Now, actor and singer Terron Brooks wants his fans to know that better times are only a day away.
Brooks is set to release his new single — a cover of the song "Tomorrow" from Broadway’s "Annie" — on May 7. The song was the last one recorded for the singer’s forthcoming album, "The Soul of Broadway."
"We had almost finished the record and I swear to you, I was in the shower, and I was singing, 'Tomorrow, tomorrow...' — my version that you're going to hear — and it was the last song we recorded for the record. But it's so timely that the record label chose the song as the single," says Brooks. "It's just still timeless today, that message that the sun will come out, keep holding on, keeping love alive."
And the performer certainly knows how to keep holding on; "The Soul of Broadway" was actually recorded more than a year ago, before the onset of the pandemic.
"We recorded it in 2019," Brooke recalls. "We had a huge launch here in Hollywood at the Montalbán Theatre at the end of 2019 and we were ready to go on tour, and everything shut down."
Now, with "Tomorrow" finally set for release, the stage and screen star can look forward to sharing his long-awaited love letter to the Great White Way.
"It's funny because we didn't aim to choose the songs that really worked together so well as an inspirational offering. They just kind of came together," he says. "Any song that I sing, I want to connect to."
Along with the single and album, Brooks is also set to launch a new podcast called "Honest Answers with Terron Brooks" on May 18th, in which he’ll sit down for discussions with celebrity peers including Tony Award winner Stephanie J. Block and his co-star from The Temptations, Leon Robinson.
For more information on Terron Brooks and his upcoming projects, click here. And click the video player in this article to hear our conversation about the new single and album!
"Silence The Shame Day:"
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and May 5 is "Silence the Shame Day." A local nonprofit dedicated to empowering and educating the community on mental health and wellness is hosting its first-ever virtual fundraiser. Shanti Das, the founder of "Silence the Shame" joins Good Day with more about their mission and the upcoming A Brilliant Mind Gala. For more information click here.
Geroge Chidi of "The Next Atlanta" and "The Tammi Mac Late Show" talks about the impact of family secrets:
Family secrets can screw up history in ways that may matter in decades to people who aren't even born today. And even today, families are fragile, and the considerations of history might matter less than preventing a family that is facing real challenges from fracturing today. George Chidi explores how family secrets can hurt the future generation of families. You can hear more about this topic on The Tammi Mac Late Show tonight on Fox Soul at 11 p.m.
Amani Sams on comedian Robin Thede's new film "Killing It":
The action-comedy film "Killing It" centers around a fictional university, but which has a name that many Atlantans are familiar with. Thede wrote and produced the film, set at the homecoming of a fictional HBCU called "SpelHouse." Amani Sams gives her take on the film. You can follow her on social media @AmaniSams.
Pet of the day from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia: For more information on how you can adopt today's pet of the day click here.