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Renowned Mariachi Gabriel Solis Croons at Numbers Tonight

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Don't look now, but local singer and promoter Eddie de las Casas has pulled off a major coup in bringing internationally famous Mexican mariachi singer Gabriel Solis to town tonight.

Usually an artist of Solis's fame and drawing power would probably play one of the larger Latino clubs in town like Escapade, but De las Casas has Solis as the headliner on his "Mariachi Cabaret" series at Numbers, the historic club on lower Westheimer long known for its rock shows.

"For so long, Hispanics just didn't come to Westheimer or to Montrose," he explains. "Now they are coming, and this is one of the things I'm proud of about the Mariachi Cabaret."

De las Casas, who is instrumental in the budding careers of local crooner Humberto Corona and and operatic vocalist Barbara Padilla via his talent agency, started the Latin music nights at Numbers in early February with a performance by the famous Mariachi Origen Y Tradicion.

Solis is a second generation mariachi singer, following in the footsteps of his father Javier, known affectionately as "El Rey de Bolero." When he is not performing on his own, Solis is part of the Herencia Mexicana singing troupe, which is made up of sons and daughters of the famous singers of Mexico. He is a frequent guest at the major mariachi festivals in the U.S., and tends to cover many of his father's most famous tunes including "El Loco," Renunciacion," and "Sombras."

"I've worked with so many singers over the years who were trying to shed their parents' reputations, trying to get out from under that shadow," says De las Casas. "Garbriel is the exact opposite. He embraces his father and his father's music, he's proud to sing his father's songs and keep them and his father's memory alive.

"And that's the thing, there is a crowd that wants to hear the classics of the golden age of Mexican music," he adds. "They want the performers to dress the old way and to stay true to the original music with no changes."

De la Casas appears to be using the events to also advance the budding career of Corona, who was featured in the most recent issue of Texas Music, by having him open for the established stars of the mariachi circuit. Matamoros-born Corona, who lives on El Northside, was the surprise winner of season ten of Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento, an American Idol-style talent show. Corona netted a new car, a recording contract, and a $100,000 prize for his win in the Los Angeles competition.

Gabriel Solis performs with special guest Humberto Corona tonight at Numbers, 300 Westheimer, 8:30 p.m.

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