As some of you know, Francisco Mendoza enjoyed serenading everyone with the trumpet, and even had a used piano installed in his home in the late 1970s so he could learn to play.
Many years before he died, he talked about starting a children’s mariachi band at Orozco Academy, contemplating teaching the kids himself and selecting the band outfits he and the students would wear. Some family members and friends thought his idea would never be approved. Through the help of other people in the community, his dream came to be realized after his death, and the school now has such a band.
However, not too many people know that he came from a family line of classical musicians on his mother’s side.
In the early 1900s, her father, Ysabel Ibarra, was a classical musician and composer in the Mexican city of San Luis Potosi. There he taught music to the children of wealthy residents and created instruments, like the violin, by hand. One of his students, Felipa Avila, became an excellent musician and would grow up to become his future wife. They taught their children to compose and play music, with the exception of Mendoza’s mother Goyita, who was the youngest of the children.
On summer nights, Felipa and Ysabel would join other quartet musicians in performing classical works in the town square’s gazebo. The gazebo still stands there today in the Plaza de Armas.
Currently, Francisco Mendoza’s two nephews, Vincent Jr. (aka Napo) and Paolo, now work in the music industry. One is a rap singer and film actor, and the other travels the U.S. to do studio remixing for major recording stars.